We’ve been enthusiastically writing about the Danish blackened hardcore band Hexis at NCS since 2012. In that time they’ve released two album and an assortment of shorter works, and in combination they’ve shown us a formidable band constantly on the move forward. They’ve now landed at Debemur Morti Productions, which gives us added comfort that we haven’t been entirely crazy all these years in our Hexis enthusiasm, and it’s DMP that will be releasing the band’s third album Aeternum on August 26th.
Anyone familiar with what Hexis have done so far knows that their musical ingredients have increasingly ranged beyond their backbone of hardcore and black metal, and the new album is undoubtedly their most diverse yet. It’s not the kind of album where you can listen to a track or two and figure out what everything else will sound like. As DMP reports, the three years of work on this album have allowed the band “to refocus and redefine their thunderous sound into a truly distinctive beast which merges violent Hardcore, desolate Black Metal, brooding post-Metal and elements of Dark Ambient with the churning ruthlessness of bass-driven Industrial and Grind”.
Not surprisingly, then, three tracks have been released so far in the run-up to the album’s release, and now we bring you a fourth one. These songs display the album’s dynamism and diversity of songcraft, but even four of them don’t provide a complete map of the soundscape that awaits listeners. They are, however, very effective in proving that the album is remarkably intense on multiple levels, and well worth a complete investigation.
Here’s what we previously wrote about the first three preview tracks:
Two of those songs — “Divinitas” and “Nunquam” — are short assaults. The third one, “Exhaurire“, comes close to the eight-minute mark. With its words expelled in raw, scalding yells, “Divinitas” rumbles and tumbles, deluges the senses with dense, vicious guitar gales, and slugs damned hard too. There’s a kind of violent ecstasy channeled by that first song, and it comes through again, albeit leavened with moods of bleakness, in the scything, grinding, and skull-busting cruelty of “Nunquam“.
“Exhaurire” ranges more widely, as you might expect from its length. It delivers bunker-busting power but also quickly creates and then magnifies an atmosphere of oppressive hopelessness, torment, and despair. Having done that, the band then briefly segue into a nightmarish interlude, before continuing to build their looming edifice of terrible calamity, wreathing it with glittering swirls of unearthly melody — which then become dominant near the end, creating vistas of haunting grandeur in which ethereal voices seem to sing.
Which brings us to “Amissus“, the song we’re premiering today along with a lyric video. Hexis vocalist Filip Anderse explains why this one was chosen as the fourth single:
“We felt that this track is adding something to the mix which the other three unveiled songs (‘Divinitas‘, ‘Exhaurire’ & ‘Nunquam‘) did not show. ‘Divinitas‘ and ‘Nunquam‘ are faster and more straight to the point. ‘Exhaurire‘ is a slow one and, furthermore, a very long track, especially for HEXIS. ‘Amissus‘, however, felt like a good pick since it is a mid-tempo composition.
“Of course, the other tracks on the record still display different aspects of our sound which we could not highlight by revealing four of twelve tracks. There is obviously a lot to be discovered by the listener. This album is much more diverse compared to all our previous works. But with these four singles we are showing what we want to demonstrate the most!
Also, during our tour through Canada this June and July, we actually played ‘Amissus‘ every night. The reaction was always good. It is kind of a ‘weird’ track for us to play live, exactly because of the unusual tempo for HEXIS. But the audience seemed to enjoy it and it definitely works well to get peoples’ heads moving!”
The brittle and abrasive guitars that ring in the song’s opening quickly create a bleak and precarious mood, and that mood transforms into one of despair and derangement as the guitars writhe and the vocals erupt in screams of hair-raising intensity. While the rhythmic pacing is indeed more restrained than elsewhere on the album, that just makes the bass and drum impacts even more pulverizing.
You will see that the lyrics of the song that rip through the throat like knives are harrowing, as is the accompanying visual imagery, and the music is every bit as lacerating. Viscerally powerful, emotionally shattering, and mentally broiling, the song isn’t soon forgotten:
Guitarist Dalle Oldman combines with vocalist Filip to form the core of Hexis, and on this album Luca Mele joined them as bassist and backing vocalist, and Felix Kothe performed the drums, with Marietheres Schneider performing as a guest vocalist on “Exhaurire”. The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Fredrik Nördstrom at Fredman Studio.
We’ve included pre-order links below, as well as a poster for Hexis‘ European tour coming this autumn.