Rating:
6.5
Hexen - Being And Nothingness
28 May 2012


01. Macrocosm
02. Grave New World
03. Defcon Rising
04. Private Hell
05. Walk As Many, Stand As One
06. Stream Of Unconsciousness
07. Indefinite Archetype
08. The Nescient
09. Nocturne
    1 - Opus 55 No 1 In Fmin
    2 - Out Of Reach
    3 - Existential Crisis
    4 - Entrance Of The Absurd
    5 - The Unbearable Lightness Of Being
    6 - With Salvation I Persist
    7 - Elegy Of The Night
    8 - End In Perplexity


"Revivalist thrash" might not be the best way to describe what bands like Hexen have been doing recently. By now, the image that term ultimately conjures up is one of a thickening pack of denimed-out, canned beer shaking youths huddling around thrash's corpse, firing up their defibrillators, reviving it back to life, letting it get up and dust itself off, then defibrillating it again. And then again. And now again... Again.

"Over-revived" thrash is more like it here. Yeah, I've written fondly about a lot of young bands who do similar things, and done so recently, but only because the groups in question (Warbringer, Diamond Plate, Havok, etc.) have done their respective things with their own attitude and they've consistently done it foremost in the spirit of fun. These guys kinda have that and sometimes seem like they do that (respectively), but only to an extent. This is a "serious" theatrical and hyper-melodic sort of thing for the most part—technicality and melodrama seem to be the priorities here over aggression and playfulness--and that kind of shit can be a real bummer when it's not done inordinately well. And, with Being and Nothingness, I can't quite bring myself to type out that it was.

No question that these guys do have chops though. Their skill as musicians is laudable and whatnot (the drumming, in particular, is excellent), it's just the end result of all their soloing and "epic," more progressive interludes all ends up coming together in a big bucket of meh. It's kinda boring. You'll be able sit down, tug at your beard, bob your head a bit and say "hmmm, alright, alright" a bunch, but after a few tracks it becomes clear enough that that's probably all you're going to do. There probably won't be any reckless furniture-kicking and beer sloshing to this, and that's all I want most of the time when tossing on a thrash album.

Bottom line is you likely won't come out of your cave feeling anything but whatever bullshit fulfillment you might get out of bobbing your head, tugging your beard, and saying "hmm, alright, alright" after listening to this. Think Testament meets Exodus and a side-dish of flavorless astronaut paste.


Band profile: Hexen
Album: Being And Nothingness


 



Written on 27.06.2012 by
wormdrink414
Wormdrink's real name is George and he's an American.
More reviews by wormdrink414 ››



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Mattybu - 27.06.2012 at 02:34  
What I've heard from State of Insurgency was pretty good... That's rather disappointing

I still think I need to see for myself about this one though haha.
Malignar - 27.06.2012 at 06:20  
It's more like Vektor with a small dash of Dissection. And on paper that sounds like it would be the best album ever but it's a bit too light on the Dissection and the thrash is not terribly impressive. Definitely a massive upgrade over their previous album. At least they are trying something a bit different from the thrash pack. Although the ablum is still in the 7/10 range at best.
wormdrink414 - 27.06.2012 at 09:19  
Written by Malignar on 27.06.2012 at 06:20

It's more like Vektor with a small dash of Dissection. And on paper that sounds like it would be the best album ever but it's a bit too light on the Dissection and the thrash is not terribly impressive. Definitely a massive upgrade over their previous album. At least they are trying something a bit different from the thrash pack. Although the ablum is still in the 7/10 range at best.

Don't hear the Dissection really, hear a little Vektor for sure.

Seems like they're always fence-sitting between being techy/proggy thrash and being more stripped down, visceral-style on this. BBipolar kinda thing that just doesn't quite work out
Deadmeat - 27.06.2012 at 09:58  
I dont see dissection here and i dont see vektor too. its like vektor became in a moment the best thrash metal band to be overwrited? i dont think so.

on the other side i dont like that much the review. thrash metal is not only for beers and headbanging. these guys are young, talented but not that mature yet. i feel this album has some awesome moments on it but also that it could be much better. its more of a concept album, comparing it to their debut which was something like: lets write songs and put them on an album. this one has much more variety for example.

generally i dont agree with your whole opinion about the band and the album but it's ok, people may have different views on music.

it's just, that i find hexen as a really pleasant band to listen to..
Troy Killjoy - 27.06.2012 at 10:14  
Written by Deadmeat on 27.06.2012 at 09:58
...thrash metal is not only for beers and headbanging.

You might want to re-read the first two paragraphs, since the "beers and headbanging" imagery was directed at the revivalist thrash stigma and then goes on to explain how other revivalist thrash bands do it better because they have their own voice.
K†ulu - 27.06.2012 at 10:24  
Written by Mattybu on 27.06.2012 at 02:34

What I've heard from State of Insurgency was pretty good... That's rather disappointing

I still think I need to see for myself about this one though haha.

Do give it a listen. State of Insurgency was indeed quite a great album, but this is very different and definitely needs some time (I can't make up my mind at the moment about this album).

Written by Malignar on 27.06.2012 at 06:20

It's more like Vektor with a small dash of Dissection. And on paper that sounds like it would be the best album ever but it's a bit too light on the Dissection and the thrash is not terribly impressive. Definitely a massive upgrade over their previous album. At least they are trying something a bit different from the thrash pack. Although the ablum is still in the 7/10 range at best.


It is an upgrade it terms of doing something different, but State of Insurgency was quite a consistent album of kick-ass thrash while this new style definitely needs some polishing, and I am not sure they have done it particularly well.

And I agree about Vektor... they were the first thing I thought of after hearing the second track.

Written by Troy Killjoy on 27.06.2012 at 10:14

Written by Deadmeat on 27.06.2012 at 09:58
...thrash metal is not only for beers and headbanging.

You might want to re-read the first two paragraphs, since the "beers and headbanging" imagery was directed at the revivalist thrash stigma and then goes on to explain how other revivalist thrash bands do it better because they have their own voice.


But then the reviewer says, "...because the groups in question (Warbringer, Diamond Plate, Havok, etc.)... [have] consistently done it foremost in the spirit of fun... These guys kinda have that and sometimes seem like they do that (respectively), but only to an extent. This is a "serious" theatrical and hyper-melodic sort of thing for the most part—technicality and melodrama seem to be the priorities here over aggression and playfulness"

So it seemed to me as well that wormdrink is looking fun and beer in his thrash.
Deadmeat - 27.06.2012 at 10:30  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 27.06.2012 at 10:14

Written by Deadmeat on 27.06.2012 at 09:58
...thrash metal is not only for beers and headbanging.

You might want to re-read the first two paragraphs, since the "beers and headbanging" imagery was directed at the revivalist thrash stigma and then goes on to explain how other revivalist thrash bands do it better because they have their own voice.

well i said what i said mainly because of the phrase

"There probably won't be any reckless furniture-kicking and beer sloshing to this, and that's all I want most of the time when tossing on a thrash album."

genarally i dont feel like hexen overwrites other bands. it's obvious that they'll have many influences and some of them may not be "well hidden" but it's like with this album they came much closer to "creating their own voice".
Milena - 27.06.2012 at 19:33  
This is, like... if I were to mock prog album & song titles, I'd write these titles. And this is a thrash band. I think that says it all.

I mean, fuck, they've got "being" and "nothingness" and "perplexity" and a Dream Theater pun and opus numbers.
Zaphod - 28.06.2012 at 18:20  
Written by Milena on 27.06.2012 at 19:33

This is, like... if I were to mock prog album & song titles, I'd write these titles.

This.
And:
"Grave New World." That's the lamest pun I've heard since last Friday on the camping site of a metal festival.
K†ulu - 07.11.2013 at 10:57  
One more post here. I have listened some more to Being and Nothingness, and while I have started to appreciate the effort of Hexen, I have to admit they have not managed to do what Vektor did with Black Future - more like what Vektor did with Outer Isolation.

So I agree with the review, and I have to say the way you written it, wormdrink, is simply commendable! Just spot on with all those half-jokes and tongue-in-cheek lines! Cheers! Great writing!
wormdrink414 - 07.11.2013 at 11:15  
Written by K†ulu on 07.11.2013 at 10:57

One more post here. I have listened some more to Being and Nothingness, and while I have started to appreciate the effort of Hexen, I have to admit they have not managed to do what Vektor did with Black Future - more like what Vektor did with Outer Isolation.

So I agree with the review, and I have to say the way you written it, wormdrink, is simply commendable! Just spot on with all those half-jokes and tongue-in-cheek lines! Cheers! Great writing!

thanks man,

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