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Hexvessel: When We Are Death

Psychedelic Forest Folk? That's not necessarily a style of music we've heard much about, but if Finland's Hexvessel keep pumping out albums like When We Are Death, their third studio album on Century Media Records, it will be a term talked about quite often. The music of Hexvessel is steeped in 1960s psychedelia with a healthy dose of folk, with male & female vocals soaring over Farfisa organ, electric & acoustic guitars, and the occasional odd instrument, instantly drawing comparisons to It's a Beautiful Day, The Doors, Iron Butterfly, Coven, early Deep Purple, and the Jefferson Airplane.

Vocalist/guitarist Mat McNerney is also the frontman for Grave Pleasures and Beastmilk, bringing some instant name recognition to Hexvessel, but it's by no means a one man show here, with Marja Konttinen (vocals, percussion), Jukka Rämänen (drums), Simo Kuosmanen (lead guitar), Niini Rossi (Bass), Kimmo Helén (Keyboards/Trumpet/Violin) all contributing greatly to the success of When We Are Death. "When I'm Dead" blisters with hard rock guitar, trippy organ, and great vocals driving a killer hook, while "Transparent Eyeball" and "Earth Over Us" offer up plenty of lush folk tones and catchy grooves with throbbing psychedelia. The swirling organ colliding with heavy riffs of "Drugged Up on the Universe" instantly brings to mind Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Iron Butterfly, and Vanilla Fudge, while the pastoral "Teeth of the Mountain" contains some passionate vocals as well as a tasty wah-wah guitar solo. There's more of a bluesy hard rock flair to "Mushroom Spirit Doors" (think Jethro Tull's first couple of albums, minus the flute), and the dark, moody "Shaman You" adds an atmospheric, menacing tone to the back end of the album.

You have to love when some of these retro styled bands add new dimensions to their sound to distance themselves from the pack, and that's what Hexvessel have done so well here. This is haunting, at times quite lush, beautiful, dreamy, and hard rocking music, leaving no doubt that Hexvessel are going to make a huge splash with When We Are Death here in 2016.

Track Listing
1.Transparent Eyeball
2.Earth Over Us
3.Cosmic Truth
4.When I'm Dead
5.Mirror Boy
6.Drugged Up On The Universe
7.Teeth Of The Mountain
8.Green Gold
9.Mushroom Spirit Doors
10.Hunter's Prayer
11.Shaman You

Added: January 17th 2016
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2311
Language: english

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