Tando Ashanti

Written by: PP on 30/07/2017 15:18:12

For their sophomore album "Tando Ashanti", bruising Copenhagen, Denmark blackened hardcore unit Hexis have undergone a significant change both in the lineup and in terms of style compared to their debut album "Abalam" from three years ago. Everyone except singer Filip Andersen has left the band in mutual agreement, no doubt in part due to the grueling touring requirements that being in the most active live band in Denmark comes with (Hexis are on tour over 300 days a year). Hence it's no surprise to find a rather radical stylistical shift as well on "Tando Ashanti", which has all but dropped the blackened hardcore elements in favour of gruesome black metal pummeling instead.

The resulting expression is far less chaotic and uncontrollable than its predecessor. The focus has moved towards atmospheric black metal of the most visceral and evil kind possible, where the soundscape is now best described as a barrage of cacophonous, blackened static noise. Constant low-end tremolo shredding combined with a slightly muddled production means it's extremely difficult to tell the songs apart even on record, especially given Filip's guttural shrieks overlaid on top, but something tells me it's been done on purpose to forge a uniform soundscape. Indeed, other than the occasional moments of tranquillity, such as the slow, echoing single guitar strums on "Nocturnus" or "Cordolium", the wall of atmospheric black noise is impenetrable and uncompromising in its nature, thus helping to create a particularly barren and cold soundscape that's almost exclusively attributed to Scandinavian 'winter-sounding' bands like The Psyke Project, This Gift Is A Curse et al. That being said, references to groups like The Secret and Celeste are also present given how closely Hexis follow their line of blacker than black metal thinking with nuances of post-metal in their expression.

Forty minutes of brooding, relentless pummeling in varying tempos is what "Tando Ashanti" is all about. It's extreme, it's radically noisy and unforgiving for any non-attention paying listener. Live, the band is monstrous because this style lends itself to intense live performances given the ambiance and atmosphere combined with the brutality factor. But on record, "Tando Ashanti" needs crystal clear production to succeed. As it stands right now, the songs blend into each other to an extent where it's difficult to pick one or two songs from the album to recommend.


Download: Ritualis, Calamitas, Cordolium
For the fans of: Celeste, The Secret, This Gift Is A Curse
Listen: Facebook

Release date 08.04.2017
Halo of Flies

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