Jex Thoth - Blood Moon Rise
I Hate Records
Psychedelic Classic Rock / Doom Metal
9 songs (46' 31")
Release year: 2013
I Hate Records
Reviewed by Andy
Album of the month

Jex Thoth's doomy classic-rock sound, though not precisely metal, does have a certain something to it all the same. Their last EP left me rather unsatisfied (due more to lack of quantity than lack of quality), but Blood Moon Rise was clearly worth the wait. The melodies have never been better, the sound has lost none of its darkly heavy overdrive, and Jex's singing has improved on vocals that were already very good to begin with.

The album starts with To Bury as a sort of prologue to the main piece, quiet and restrained, before The Places You Walk, a melodic rock piece that is a bit faster than some of their previous work. Anyone who found the Equinox Suite pieces a bit of a drag will be relieved; the songs seem to be a bit faster and more listener-friendly, and even on the heavier, more dramatic tracks like The Divide, there is more of a melody than Jex Thoth used to be willing to provide. Not to say that the dreamy, fairy-tale atmosphere is gone -- if anything, it's thicker than ever on the slower, quieter songs. Jex was always able to provide that dreaminess to her singing without relying on either doom metal or psychedelia, and Into a Sleep and Keep Your Weeds are both filled with it, one gentle and meditative, the other with a harder point on it that the melody makes truly beautiful. Both have similarly gentle but heavy solos, including a magnificent organ/guitar solo combo in Keep Your Weeds.

All that quiet music doesn't stop Jex Thoth from interspersing doom metal songs with a sonic palette ripped from metal's prehistory in between. The next two tracks are slower and heavier than most of the band's 70s influences, though just as melodic. But one of my favorites, Psyar, comes at the very end. It neatly ties up the album with Jex putting as much soul as she possibly can into the husky singing, and a surprisingly technical (for them) blues-style solo at the end, lasting about three minutes.

This is a band that has always been reviewed as one that could be played for one's grandmother without any horror-stricken looks, and that's still true. However, the amazingly well-crafted nature of the songs (I can't find a bad one on here; even the interludes are good) is quite likely to delight those who enjoy heavier sorts of music as well, even if they didn't like the first few albums. Before listening to it, I'd expected more of the same, which would have been by no means a bad thing, but after listening to this one, I'm impressed.

Killing Songs :
All of them
Andy quoted 91 / 100
Other albums by Jex Thoth that we have reviewed:
Jex Thoth - Witness reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Jex Thoth - Jex Thoth reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
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