Black storm clouds of death are gathering over the graveyard, as the hands of the undead pierce the hateful soil. To me, this is the environment in which HEXIS, an awesome blackened hardcore band, thrives. These Danish hellions’ music straight rips the hearts out of the weak, holding them out so we can watch them pump with fear. At times it almost feels like they are able to mold feedback and distortion into audio weapons that have the force to shatter all of the lies we have been taught. The riffs that this band manifests on every fucking tune are only one part of foundation of chaos that they possess. HEXIS totally wreck shop with the way they use space, so that you can see the faces of all of their sonic ghouls and feast on their death blows! HEXIS uses cryptic melodic magic to enchant the listener into a trance-like state, and the drums on this album speak ancient stories to your subconscious. The production on this album is rad as fuck – everything is mixed to the right levels, so that nothing is fighting, all elements are unified to conjure up killer rage.
Scandinavia has a legacy of producing a countless amount of heavy acts that have helped propel heavy music into every imaginable direction. Denmark, however, have never quite managed to produce the same prolific amount of influential acts as their Scandinavian siblings. Although, as Mnemic slowly moves further and further out of consciousness, there seems to be a growing number of underground acts that are slowly making their way up the ranks, and Hexis are the band at the forefront of this resurgence.
The sheer ferocity of the opening minute on the first track makes the song difficult to fully grasp at first. You almost feel like you have to take a step back, readjust yourself, and then give it another shot. The double kick drum drives the song forward at a tremendous pace, while the screeched vocals somehow manage to avoid getting lost in the all the mayhem. The band’s use of dynamics is what manages to set them apart from other bands. For a track that started off as a ferocious audial assault, it has effortlessly managed to drift into a slow and haunting middle section, right before it gears up for a return to it’s more familiar stomping ground.
By the time the second track sets in, you already know exactly what Hexis is all about, and Fatum doesn’t even come near to disappointing. However, it’s clearly noticeable that the black metal influence isn’t quite as prevalent on this track, as the double kick and blast beats force the song forward and further into the direction of hardcore punk. As previously mentioned, what Hexis manages to do really well is add dynamics to their songs. After all, if you want something to seem really fast, put it next to something really slow. Separately, it simply wouldn’t work, but as the song sways between the two different tempos, it keeps the listener both engaged and entertained, while the eerie atmosphere that surrounds these songs is impossible to escape.
As hardcore makes its way further and further towards the depths of the black metal genre, it’s inevitable that some bands won’t be able to keep up, and, instead, will stick to their comfort zones. Other bands, such as Hexis and deafheaven, have long since left the traditional hardcore comfort zones behind them and will probably continue to push the envelope as far as they can. I don’t expect any subsequent Hexis releases to sound like this. Instead, I imagine they’ll continue to evolve and grow. Personally, I’m actually excited to see how far it will go.