By Layna D’Luna
Album: HEXIST EP
Release Date: March 4, 2017
First formed in 2015, this Austin-based, self described “black rock’n’roll” band hit the ground running when they performed their first show as openers for American thrash trailblazers, Exodus. While their album cover might suggest black metal, or something in the woodsy death category, listeners will find an album with undeniable classic thrash influences. Bands like Motörhead and early Venom come to mind almost immediately with the opener “All Signs Of Hell”. This song kicks off the album with a sinister, atmosphere-creating intro before a wave of distorted bass ushers in the driving beat. Setting the tone for the rest of the album, the vocalist snarls his way through this head banger. I dare you to sit still through this track.
The savagery continues on with “If The Witches Won’t Burn”, another track featuring a strong build, taking up a third of the song. But it proves to be worth the wait. We then begin our ascent to rock’n’roll climax with third track “Charge Towards Death”. Riffy and rowdy, it blasts through four and a half minutes. Teasing the listener, the breakdown allows for a quick moment to catch your breath before returning to its forceful beat even meaner. This song is 100% guaranteed to get me another speeding ticket.
“Ride With Demons” is the shortest song on the album, coming in under three minutes, but arguably carries the strongest punch. A relentless reminder that playing with demon spawn will likely end badly for you—but damn, it’ll be fun. “Suicide King” takes things to a witchier place. With lyrics like “You can never ever kill me, I can never die”, this heavy rock track is shout-along approved. And finally, the award for best song title goes to “Terror Eyes The Night”. This closing song utilizes growled layered vocals and catchy riffs, giving it an extra dynamic. “Terror Eyes The Night” wraps up this hard-driving rock’n’roll record by proving that Hexist can outro as well as they intro.
I don’t have a rating system but if I did, I would probably give this album 3.9/5 gold stickers. It’s overall a jammable and rage-able album, with excellent execution of old school thrash devices. I just would have liked to hear a little more experimentation.