Hexis’ blackened hardcore spins tales of sacrifice, resurrection on violent opus ‘Tando Ashanti’

Rebirth and resurrection are two tenets that comprise common threads in most of our lives, mainly through religion. Whether it’s the literal rising from the dead or just a new outlook or way of seeing one’s life, these two occurrences are so engrained in most of our cultures that it shouldn’t be hard to come up with a story or personal example of either one.

Danish wrecking machine Hexis also have their own take, and that is smeared all over their thunderous second record “Tando Ashanti.” The title itself references the demon Tando Ashanti, who demands sacrifice of 14 people, seven men and seven women, at the same time. That’s grim on its own, but the journey Hexis have built into this record and these 11 songs doesn’t simply bow to the powers of the dark. Shadowy as their intent may be, they have woven in a narrative of resurrection of the weak and dead, a path you can follow to whatever conclusion you find. The band isn’t super black and white about the meaning of all of this, so it’s your job to comb through this nearly 39-minute battlefield for clarity and understanding. This must be done by essentially mining a battlefield with the war still raging on, and there’s no guarantee you’ll land on anything before having your face ripped apart.

“Tando” tears off the lid with guitars charging and hanging in the air, as well as strange whispers and feedback contributing to the horror factor. “Ashanti” explodes with grim guitars, throaty growls, and a tempo that boils and crushes. The riffs slow down and sludge later, with sounds stinging and the thick bass bruising. “Molestus” has melodies contorting and the pace chugging violently, as the track works toward the jugular. Howls of “nightmare!” repeat and thrash, as the cut dissolves into acid. “Ritualis” scrapes skin off the surface while the riffs lather like thick oil. The growls are cement-grade rivers, while the band piledrives into and through the chaos. “Calamitas” has dramatic, urgent riffs that storm, and the intensity of the thing could have you on the verge of a blackout. The vocals wrench, and the tempo that mauls from front to back finally lets you have a breath. “Nocturnus” is one of the longer cuts on here, setting into a hardcore-style offensive before everything chills out a bit. The music has a calculated feel for a stretch before the churning starts again, and the vocals turn bones into fine powder.

“Opacus” feels like being caught in the gears of heavy machinery, as your insides are twisted, and your pain points hit their apex. The track is monstrous, decimating before eventually bleeding away. “Cordolium” has guitars collecting in an ashen cloud before coating the ground. The track slowly hulks, while the growls rip holes, and the guitars spit sparks. Everything swells and is pulled into a tornadic terror, with the vocals curdling and the song ripping toward its end and right into “Resurrection.” There, noise drone foams up and spreads, with the harsh cries dragged over top. From there, it’s a slow grind to its end. “Septem” is aggravated and blinding with rage, as the vocals crush the gears, and the guitars swirl. In fact, most of this song is dizzying and disorienting, paving the way for the merciless finish of “Presagium.” Damaged guitars and thorny vocals mix while the pace jackhammers everything in sight, and the final minutes are comprised of strange coldness and a dense noise cloud that chokes away all.

Hexis’ mission is a dark and foreboding one, never more obvious than on “Tando Ashanti.” This band’s penchant for mixing hardcore, black metal, and doom is potent, and over two records now, they’ve charred those standing in front of them. This record is as deadly as they come, and you could leave this thinking you bear the black mark of the next one up on the demon’s chopping block.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/Hexisband

To buy the album, go here: http://www.halooffliesrecords.com/releases/

Or here: http://www.doomrock.com/

For more on the label, go here: http://www.halooffliesrecords.com/

And here: http://www.no-pasaran.org/welcome/