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Haxprocess - The Caverns Of Duat review

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Band: Haxprocess
Album: The Caverns Of Duat
Release date: January 2023

01. God Complex
02. At One With Time
03. The Infinity Paradox
04. Phantasm
05. The Caverns Of Duat

Come down to the land of the dead, where jackal-headed gods play prog death metal.

Don't worry! This band may have the same name as an Opeth song, but Haxprocess are far from an Opeth clone! In fact, other than sharing the band/song name and the "progressive" genre label, Haxprocess have almost nothing in common with Opeth. Rather than periodically switching between clean singing and harsh growls or blending acoustic guitar melodies with tremolo-picked riffs, this young three-piece band from Jacksonville, Florida, offer old-school-esque death metal doused in technical creativity. With an elegant collaboration between menacing buzzsaw riffs and intricately performed melodic guitar solos, Haxprocess take the listener on a journey into the ancient Egyptian underworld: the Duat. Here, the jackal-headed god Anubis weighs the hearts of the deceased against the feather of Maat. Those judged unworthy are consumed by Ammit, Devourer of Souls.

Now, I know what you're thinking. A US death metal band growling about Egyptian mythology? If this band isn't an Opeth clone, surely it's a Nile worshipper? Wrong again! While I'm sure the musicians love Nile as much as we do, their musical direction steers clear of that characteristically brutal, incessant pummeling. Instead, Haxprocess opt for surprisingly large amounts of easy-on-the-ear melodies (relatively speaking, of course; after all, this is still death metal we're talking about). For instance, after a groovy intro riff, the song "Phantasm" delves into a soothing ambience, while the title track introduces a harmonized melody even akin to Iron Maiden. The vocals remain primarily death doom growls, with the exception of an eerily sung clean passage in the background of "Phantasm". Overall, the satisfying old-school rhythm guitar tone reminds me of Morbid Angel's debut album, while the technical ambition and mastery of the guitar solos is somewhat reminiscent of Death's progressive phase. Still, despite me listing these different bands, I'm actually struggling to draw proper comparisons. Haxprocess display here a surprisingly fresh batch of death metal that expertly balances dark moods with beautifully performed musicianship.

Staying at a mid-tempo pace throughout, the album's catchy riffs are easy to follow for the listener (see, for example, the intro of "The Infinity Paradox"). They balance these headbang-inducing hooks with impressive, masterfully executed solos (especially prominent on the 11-minute track "At One With Time" and the 13-minute concluding title track). The guitar-work is intricate and nuanced, but, unlike some prog bands, Haxprocess don't lose themselves in the complexity. They don't over-do their musical skills and don't make a mess out of the highly technical solos. Entertainment lies in each song's highly unpredictable nature, with seemingly a thousand riffs leading the listener down countless rabbit holes. And yet, I never feel lost and my head is never spinning — every new direction that this album takes feels strangely natural. This sense of cohesion despite showing off remarkable technical creativity is very impressive for a band's debut full-length, and it makes me confident that Haxprocess have the potential to go far, wherever they choose to venture next.

Written on 02.02.2023 by The sign of good music is the ability to both convey and trigger emotion.


Comments: 4   Visited by: 85 users
02.02.2023 - 14:55
Rating: 7

Pretty decent! I don't love it, but some of the more crunching parts positively reminded me of Cave Bastard's 2021 album, and the Egyptian-inspired melodies add an interesting touch
03.02.2023 - 18:26
Rating: 10

I wouldn't call these guys an Opeth (NilePeth!!! me kids, me kids) clone or of other prog death acts... but...

...doesn't that 5th/final/title-track (bar some sections n smoother transitions) sound like it was lifted directly from either Orchid or Morningrise? even though my perspective on art/other things is sometimes is convoluted to the point of producing delusional phantom-hymns of pure inaccuracy/head-scratchin/misleading opinion-asshole'd fucked fact-fodder of nonexistent wonder - I get that feeling that a few others will make a similar observation...

nice review! reality-tempered optimism is always a good thing to see - due to the negativity-slanted default of the majority (but jaded baggage serves its own end as well, don't get me wrong)

last 3 records spun
Russkaja - Turbo Polka Party
Vosbúð - Heklugjá
Memoriam - Rise to Power
No one can fend off 100 multi-colored Draculas
05.02.2023 - 15:38
Rating: 8
A Nice Guy
I've been listening to this and have to say I like what I've been hearing. I can only imagine the musicians having a highly enjoyable jamming session together with total freedom when they recorded this and it just all came together so well, it brings a smile to my face which is unusual for any kind of death metal.

Excellent review
05.02.2023 - 16:31
Rating: 9
Nocturnal Bro
Written by AndyMetalFreak on 05.02.2023 at 15:38

it brings a smile to my face which is unusual for any kind of death metal.

Excellent review

For me this is the best release of 2023 so far!

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