Hexx - Wrath Of The Reaper

Hexx - Wrath Of The Reaper

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(CD, High Roller Records, 2017)

It was with the Music For Nations compilation, “Speed Kills...But Who's Dying?”, I was first acquainted with HEXX and the “Mirror Of The Past” song from the “Quest For Sanity” EP kept spinning round after round and I loved it. Which made me feel a bit disappointed when I got my hands on “Under The Spell” as it was much more Heavy Metal oriented than the EP was. These days I love that one too as well as the “No Escape” debut. That's why it is so much fun to dig into “Wrath Of The Reaper”.

Opening track “Macabre Procession Of Specters” is a Thrash-y piece in the vein of the music that got me hooked in the first place while “Screaming Sacrifice” leans more towards classic Heavy Metal. JUDAS PRIEST “Painkiller”-era with additional aggression and this really sums up what HEXX was all about back in the days. They of course touched upon Death Metal with “Morbid Reality” too later on, another good record but not what I want from the band. These two first songs though are spot on what I want.

After the intro, another Heavy Metal track kicks off with “Swimming The Witch” and there's something with the arrangement of the vocal lines that reminds me of Sweden's WOLF. I really enjoy the floating riffs and vocals in the chorus line which make a good contrast towards the rather epic nature of the rest of the song. What struck me first with the “Wrath Of The Reaper” record was the sound; it's an old-school production and even if it leaves a little to wish for when it comes to edge and volume (crank this record up in my lousy car stereo doesn't work) I really like it. It feels retro in a good way and perfectly suites the music. And I’d take this in place of these modern super-pushed productions any day.

One song that struck me with the first spin was “Dark Void Of Evil”; this is a heavy and epic one and the suggestive riff in the verses is fantastic and when it gains power and moves over to something sounding like contemporary JUDAS PRIEST it really sends shivers down my spine. Also the fast “Exhumed For The Reaping” got to me very quickly as I love the drive in the riffs and how the vocal line feeds the energy further. I like how it cuts off and shakes things up a bit too because even if there's good punch and pace in the record there are a few songs on that first half of “Wrath Of The Reaper” that are rather similar when it comes to the general feel, tempo and harmonies.

The title track and album closer is another favorite. It's a perfect mix between Heavy Metal and Thrash. The verse riff sticks like glue, it's MANOWAR or RUNNING WILD on speed and the vocal line on top of it is mean and raw. It's so cool that a brutal track like this one still can be very catchy also. It should definitely work perfect as a live song, it's very easy to visualize a crowd scream a long and head-bang to this one.

The best with HEXX's new record is the overall sound and feel. It's old-school without feeling dated; in fact, it feels honest and the most important, the musical performance on “Wrath Of The Reaper” is very vibrant and it's a really fun to listen to. Analyzing track by track, some parts and passages are similar to the other which might cause it to not hold in the longer perspective. It has been spinning here frequently for weeks now and I'm definitely not bored with it yet.





01. Macabre Procession Of Specters
02. Screaming Sacrifice
03. Slave In Hell
04. Swimming The Witch
05. Dark Void Of Evil
06. Unraveled
07. Voices
08. Exhumed For The Reaping
09. Circle The Drain
10. Wrath Of The Reaper
11. Certificate Of Death (CD bonus)


Eddy Vega - Vocals
Dan Watson - Guitar
Bobbie Wright - Guitar
Mike Horn - Bass
John Shafer - Drums