Hexenklad – ‘Spirit Of The Stone’ (CDN Records) Print
Written by Stephanie Rose   
Wednesday, 23 August 2017 04:00

Hexenklad artworkAt first listen this album didn't speak to me. It has the usual, or more traditional, sound of folkish black metal, as in melodic parts, heavy whining guitars, drastic quick drums and gravely vocals. I felt there was lacking a certain timing with the instruments and vocals: they feel rather unrelated. The backing vocals on the opening track, ‘In This life Or The Next’, feel mismatched. The song starts hard and heavy, which is to be expected by the genre, but I feel I've heard this before. I couldn't kick the feeling this was all too familiar to my ears.


The next track ‘To Whom Veer Sinistral’ shoots out with a lot of energy, reminding me of German folk metal, perhaps some ties to the likes of Falkenbach. I still feel the need to be wowed, I really want to raise an eyebrow of anticipation, but there is no originality thus far, and, as I carry on through the album to find a glimpse of boldness, I am thunderstruck with deja vu.


The albums third track, ‘At The Ends Of Existence’, is the first song I actually liked: I was unsure why until the backing vocals chimed in and the all familiar sound of Borknagar swept over me. Borknagar is however a band with complete control. The matching of growls, screams and clear vocals accompanied by melodic music is an art, an art Hexenklad needs to work on.


The albums sixth song, ‘In Waking Tymes’, is a positive surprise, I hear some Dissection in there, perhaps even some Emperor, which is mostly pleasing on account of it being a clear cut black metal piece, staying true to unyielding drums and blaring guitars. ‘Path To Ruin’ shows a new born authority mixing dark growls with the well-known hiss of black metal. This is the first time while listening to this album that I feel the vocals are well matched with every other sound coming out of my speakers.


The album ends with ‘An Offering’, a slow instrumental, which neither brings me back to the beginning of the album nor do I even feel is a proper end to the album.


The songs seem unrelated to each other, the genres mix and match, I can't say it's telling me a story or keeping me interested for long periods of time.


‘Spirit Of The Stone’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.




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