Hexis - Abalam
Halo of Flies
Black Metal, Hardcore
12 songs (26:15)
Release year: 2014
Halo of Flies
Reviewed by Goat

Hailing from Denmark, five-piece Hexis play a very extreme form of black metal / hardcore combination that combines the misanthropic overload of black metal with the short, sharp shocks of hardcore. Abalam is their début full-length after several splits and EPs, and it's a killer of an album. Not (just) in the sense that it's amazing, but for sheer sonic effect this has to be heard to be believed – very rarely do either black metal or hardcore bands manage to infuse their music with such bile. And although some black metal fans may raise an eyebrow at this, with such atmosphere. If an evil sound is the defining feature of the genre, then Hexis is black metal through and through, and despite the hardcore influences there's not a breakdown to be found. Walls of horrific noise are the name of the game, with vocalist Filip's throaty screams driving them into your skull like a hammer to nails.

It's like early Anaal Nathrakh stripped down to basics and streamlined; gone are the solos, the keyboards, any hint of clean vocals. Total fucking necro, indeed... What they don't tell you is how exhausting total fucking necro is, and it's a good thing that Abalam is just under half an hour in length, because much more would be unbearable. This sort of black metal has a close relationship with the genre known as 'noise', because that's what it is, and while the likes of I find interesting things in such rackets, for many it's just, well, noise. Hexis don't make much attempt to make individual songs distinct, so after intro Faciem is done with its extremely ominous rumble, Tenebris' black/doom wall of noise immediately overwhelms, as do the 'songs' after.

Yet the music itself is stunning; the hammily-acted exorcism-themed music video for Tenebris becomes quite disturbing due to it. And although you could really describe any track here in similar terms, the sheer chilling effect of the walls of sound in the title track are amazing. The following Immolabant would be my pick for best overall track, building up to an incredibly intense explosion of hatred and anger. After that, it all seems a bit of a step down, although Exhausit makes a real effort to keep the intensity levels high. Finale Inferis does take a step back, however, being nine minutes long and much slower, acting as an outro in the way it removes you from the band's world and transports you back to this one. It's not the sort of album many will play repeatedly, and is not my usual flavour of black metal, but is worth a listen for those that relish aural violence. Hexis will be on tour in Europe in the coming months, and I can only imagine how obliterating that live show will be...

Killing Songs :
Album as a whole will slaughter you, but Abalam and Immolabant are especially lethal
Goat quoted 75 / 100
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