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Foxholes, The: Hex

Although they’ve been on the go since 2006, instrumental Spaniards The Foxholes have until now escaped my notice. Hex is the latest release in what appears to be quite a lengthy catalogue from the band, and one certainly to my ears, which proves to be a good starting point in getting to know them.

Now, no press release arrived with this CD - which comes with rather smart comic book like artwork on its digi-pack and the disc itself - and of course, save for some atmospheric backing vocals, it has no lyrics, but judging by the track listing I’m guessing its conceptual in nature. Impressively, that’s something borne out in the music, a natural growth and progression through three short tracks which reach to around ten minutes between them, building into the twelve minute-plus “Corey” and fifteen minute exactly “Hexe”. And in truth, as you’d maybe expect, these latter outbursts are really what this album is all about.

That’s not to say that the almost horror film harpsichord and synth opening of this album’s title track, simplified King Crimson meets Saracen like “Quartz” and sharp but muted guitars and keyboards that make up “Elivira”, aren’t intriguing, but it’s only really when “Corey” kicks in that you completely pay attention. Built on a stronger riff and surging synth pulses, the whole atmosphere and intensity - even if the latter aspect is more in mood and feel than metallic intent - really hits home. With a clever and lengthy pull-back during the song’s central movement, the attack isn’t overplayed but it then rebuilds into a rather irresistible swirl that fans of neo-prog will get a lot of mileage out of. However, it’s “Hexe” that really takes pride of place here, another slow build of keyboards tumbling into a scintillating mix of guitar riffery and keyboard interplay that creates a groove you really hadn’t expected and one that kind of takes you again into neo-prog, but this time only if it wilfully rushed headlong into Wishbone Ash with the merest hint of Alan Parson Project.

From the artwork to the production and from the songwriting to the individual performances, Hex really is something of a wonderful surprise, and The Foxholes prove to undoubtedly be worthy of further investigation.

Track Listing
1. Hex
2. Quartz
3. Elvira
4. Corey
5. Hexe
CD Bonus Track
6. Escaparatismo I

Added: January 15th 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Foxholes on bandcamp
Hits: 1201
Language: english

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