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Hexis - Abalam
11 January 2014

01. Faciem
02. Tenebris
03. Exanimis
04. Desolatum
05. Sequax
06. Supplex
07. Abalam
08. Immolabant
09. Exhausit
10. Timor
11. Exterminati
12. Neglexerunt
13. Inferis

Hexis's first full-length continues musically in the same vein as their debut EP XI, which has since been parceled out in fragments over a steady stream of EPs and splits. Abalam boasts an arsenal of all-new tracks to signal Hexis's move into a better-established position as a band.

Flurries of intense drumming and gloomy, speedily-picked riffs make Abalam an album based in black metal. The high-pitched growls and approach to songwriting also elicit clear black metal influences, and this style seems to be the album's launchpad. The low end is surprisingly strong for black metal, however - not overpowering, but loud enough and bolstered by enough percussion to steer Hexis into the outskirts of black metal and into a mixture with some denser, more hardcore elements. Occasional raw-throated screams tangle into the fabric, but the combination does not so much make for a Kvelertak-esque blackened punk-type band as for an industrial-tinged, grinding, blackened machine a la Anaal Nathrakh.

Fuzzy clouds of distortion hover on the edges at all times, adding through liberal application of white noise a heightened sense of savagery and dysphonic chaos. The album is composed largely of short bursts of sound, rushing through the first 12 songs in 27 minutes. Such truncated tracks often leave little room for exploration or distinction; Abalam ultimately amounts to a series of heavy gut punches that construct a deadly atmosphere but don't stick around to fill it in. Packets of violent noise can be fun, but unfortunately they also leave something to be desired.

Hexis know how to make a heavy album, and their heavily-distorted and blackened atmosphere of thick, grinding, doomy riffing keep Abalam interesting, if only for the sound and not the songs. Where the album fails is in offering memorable songs or variation to keep the listener engaged on a deeper level. Abalam is enjoyable, albeit somewhat bland at times.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 7
Production: 7

Band profile: Hexis
Album: Abalam


Written on 30.05.2014 by
Reviewing since 2010. Reviewing competently since 2013. More metal than you since before the dawn of 'istry.
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Apothecary - 30.05.2014 at 20:11  
You broke the silence, you broke the silence!

Anyway, yeah, pretty much how I feel about this one. The lack of variation gets to me here, it seems like every time I listen to this one I can't exactly tell when I'm going from one track to the next. It is definitely pleasing in its unrelenting delivery though, I think only Indian and Teitanblood this year have left me feeling as crushed. Rating's pretty spot on.
ScreamingSteelUS - 30.05.2014 at 21:15  
Written by Apothecary on 30.05.2014 at 20:11

You broke the silence, you broke the silence!

I was shocked! I'm glad you liked it.
tea[m]ster - 31.05.2014 at 00:44  
Nice job, not my cup of tea but I like reading reviews
theFIST - 02.06.2014 at 13:32  
Agreed with the review, it"s good but something others are doing already
can be downloaded for free though

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