Band: HeXen
Title: Being And Nothingness
Label: Pulverised Records
Distribution: Bertus
Release date: 14/05/2012
Review: CD

Where did I know this moniker from? Well, actually from the band itself, yet there are a few other connotations as well. During the second half of the nineties there was a (Polish) one-man band with this very same moniker, which didn’t release but one single (instrumental) demo (on tape, by the way). There used to be a Heavy Metal band from Argentina too during the earliest nineties, and apparently New Jersey-based Heavy/ Thrash act Fiakra once started as Hexen too.

However, the best known ‘metallic hexen’ are probably HeXen from Los Angeles, California. Next year, the band will celebrate its tenth anniversary. In mean time, they did release a first full length, which is called State Of Insurgery (the band did record a handful of demonstrational stuff before – FYI), and this sophomore record was registered at Vivid Tone Recording Studio with Rich Bruce (think: Guthrie Govan, Lividity).

Being And Nothingness lasts for fifty three minutes and is another modern, progressive masterwork. The band’s Thrash Metal combines traditional elements, yet covered in an experimental and technical package – instrumental opener “Macrocosm” is an excellent example for what more is to come. As from “Grave New World” on, you will experience eight long Thrash-anthems, combining Bay Area-influenced material (Californian more generally)) with much attention for Fingerspitzengefühl – the latter concerns lots of breaks and tempo-changes, fiery guitar solos, progressive rhythms and riffs, and a wonderful, well-balanced mixture of elements from the early years, mixed with catchy and modernised yet highly acceptable technics. Remarkable are the few Iron Maiden-alike duelling guitar riffs at the one hand, and the speed-up rhythm section at the other; both of them one of the surpluses to lift up this tradition-inspired material.

Recommendation for fans of everything in between early Testament and Exodus, Metallica, Death/ Control Denied and Cynic, Bonded By Blood etc.


Ivan Tibos.