Written by: AP on 22/02/2012 14:32:09

Hexis has been brutalizing the Danish underground for some time now with their filthy concoction of black metal, grindcore and post-metal, and in contrast with many of the more established metal bands in Denmark, they have already put out a number of records and toured Europe several times under a strict DIY ethic. The band's latest aural assault, the "XI" mini-album, came out in mid-December, and given it has been made available for free download, I of course pounced on it as soon as I found out and prepared to give it a review.

Opening track "Evinco" gives a well rounded introduction to the band's sound: fast, dirty and brimming with atmosphere, it bears hints of Converge, The Psyke Project (it even features guest vocals from their guitarist, Christian Bonnesen) and Altar of Plagues, and sets a distinctly underground tone for the remainder of songs. These range from short, brutal blasts à la "Aspernatio" and "Procella", which are characterized by ill-disposed tremolo melodies and frantic blastbeat oriented drumming, through the slightly lengthier "Nex" and "Fatum", which unite the band's penchant for hardcore with elements of grind, to the more expansive pieces "Crux" and "Seputus", which gradually veer into post-metal territory as well as the more progressive corners of the black metal genre. Lack of diversity, thus, is not an issue on "XI".

On the other hand, "XI" is not for the faint of heart, nor is it suitable for casual listening. Even though the velocity, length and stylistic foundation is varied on a song-to-song basis, Hexis never abandon their core values; instead they dig up the murkiest, most obscure elements from each influencing genre to create an asphyxiating musical experience best described as akin to The Psyke Project wearing corpse paint and jamming on Converge and Darkthrone tunes. Rarely has a Danish band managed to sound so abysmal and hostile.

Indeed, Hexis are unlikely to ever explode into wider awareness. But their uncompromising style and clearly defined ambitions do make them one of the more interesting products of the Danish metal scene, and certainly a band worth checking out if the DIY underground is your scene of preference. Still, this is exclusive to truists, as others might find value in "XI" too given the relatively inoffensive production mix - a surprising feature considering the depths in which Hexis operate.

Download: Evinco, Crux, Seputus, Fatum
For the fans of: Ajuna, Converge, The Psyke Project
Listen: Facebook

Release date 12.12.2011

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