Thursday , 21 September 2017
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A Review of Hexen’s “Being and Nothingness”

To many people, the new wave of thrash metal is a dying scene, but I could not disagree more.  There are tons of good NWOTM albums coming out all the time, and this one is no different.  L.A. thrashers Hexen (stylized as “HeXeN”) released their second album, Being and Nothingness in May of this year.  A follow-up to 2008s State of Insurgency, Being and Nothingness is a modern thrashterpiece.  Technical and aggressive, it encompasses everything you might want to hear in a new-wave thrash album.

Band: Hexen
Album: Being and Nothingness
Genre: Melodic Thrash Metal
Label: Pulverised Records
Release: May 28th, 2012

The album starts with “Macrocosm”, a dark and melodic, yet aggressive instrumental piece that really set the foundation for the rest of the album.  The next song, “Grave New World” is equally aggressive, and one of the highlight tracks on the album.  The shredding by guitarists Ronny Dorian and Artak Tavaratsyan on this track is really intense.  Track three is “Defcon Rising”.  This track keeps up the speed of the first two tracks while including a very catchy and melodic chorus section and a clean bridge section featuring some very Cliff Burton-esque bass licks by bassist/vocalist Andre Hartoonian.

The last track on the album is a 14 minute tech-thrash epic entitled “Nocturne”.  Every instrument shines on this track.  It even includes some awesome keyboard work.  Fast, technical, melodic and aggressive, this track really sums up Hexen as a whole.  It definitely is one of the standout tracks on the album.

While the album is musically spectacular, it suffers from something a lot of new wave of thrash albums suffer from, which is that the production is almost too clean.  It may just be my inner thrash elitist coming out, but when an album’s production is too clean it kind of takes away the charm that classic albums like Morbid Saint’s Spectrum of Death and Demolition Hammer’s Epidemic of Violence have.
Overall, Hexen’s Being and Nothingness is a prime example of the good that has come out of the new wave of thrash in recent years.  It solidifies Hexen’s place in the elite of the new wave of thrash among such bands as Warbringer and Municipal Waste.  It is definitely recommended for fans of both of those bands, as well as fans of other sci-fi/technical thrash bands, such as Vektor.

Rating:

Track Listing:

  1. Macrocosm
  2. Grave New World
  3. Defcon Rising
  4. Private Hell
  5. Walk As Many, Stand as One
  6. Stream of Unconsciousness
  7. Indefinite Archetype
  8. The Nescient
  9. Nocturne

Personnel:

Andre Hartoonian – Vocals/Bass
Ronny Dorian – Guitar
Artak Tavaratsyan – Guitar
Carlos Cruz – Drums

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Kittens...everywhere! I need a life

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