Nostalgic Corner of Thrash Nostalgia: HeXen, State of Emergency

[Yep, that’s Repka’s work– is this a bad thing for musical evolution or a good thing for musical tribute?]

So, for some reason thrash has sounded good these past few days, and I feel the need to post about HeXen and their LP State of Insurgency.

Great tracks: Knee Deep in the Dead, Past Life, and Chaos Aggressor, particularly the riff around 1:15– there is some great Bay-area thrash-inspired downpicking. As Joel McHale might say, “Please do enjoy.”

Musically, HeXen are much like Holy Grail– well written musical passages, heavy yet melodic, great solos, great drums– but with (and here we deviate from Holy Grail) a shitty vocalist.

Guys: get a singer who can sing and complement your brutal riffing– shit, even go instrumental. Actually, being an instrumental thrash act would be fucking novel: the only Thrash instrumental I can think of that actually rocks (meaning that when listening to it, you don’t check your watch at the 1 or 2-minute mark and think “There should’ve been lyrics by now… oh shit– is this an instrumental…?!”) is Metal Church‘s “It’s a Secret.”

HeXen clearly have a grasp on writing music: there are actual movements behind the  (very cool) guitar solos, the songs evolve and twist… it’s good stuff, maybe (instrumentally speaking) the best New Wave of American Thrash release out there.

Anyway, worth a listen.

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