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Toundra: Hex

With the clamour surrounding Spanish post-rock outfit Toundra reaching near deafening proportions, it was only right to finally check them out, what with Hex being the band’s seventh instrumental offering. Opening with the three part, near 22 minute “El Odio” is a clear statement of intent, the ground covered between the foursome of Alberto Tocados (bass/synths), Álex Pérez (drums/piano), David López “Macón” (guitars/synths) and Esteban Girón (guitars) considerable indeed. From plaintive guitar placings to strident riffola that’s backed by thunderous, but intricate drumming, this is no tentative introduction, Toundra throwing us straight into what can only be described as a joyous maelstrom. The flow of the three pieces is impressive, the steps from atmospherics that paint shimmering pictures to intense technicality via sheer brute force never once feeling jarred or stilted.

“Ruinas” adds a little more dynamics in terms of pacing, but the sections here feel a little more straight forward and as a way of resetting the emotions from what has come before, it also shows a maturity in the manner in which this album has been constructed… or it should have, because for me, from here things don’t quite go awry, but they do lose focus. “La Larga Marcha”, while hardly a slouchy piece of clever little guitar offshoots does underwhelm, while still possessing enough to keep you on side, while “Watt” plugs the energy right back in, but this time with a little less of the finesse that we now know this band have in spades.

With “FIN” deciding to close proceedings out in a beautiful, but strangely less multi-dimensional manner than anything that’s come before, while there’s not one single track on Hex that doesn’t contain many aspects to extol the virtues of, for me the journey through the closing three pieces can become just a little too forgettable - something that the uncompromising production doesn’t particularly help with.

When Hex is good it’s bloody well fabulous, but when it veers even slightly off that track, I must admit that my attention didn’t go in the same direction. And while that doesn’t make anything here is less than impressive, it does mean that I’ve seldom got to the end of this album without at least for some of its duration forgetting it was there at all…

It is worth adding that I do seem to be a lone voice in not loving this album from start to finish, so I still suggest that you check Toundra out before dismissing them - I know I’ll be digging deeper into their catalogue to find out more.


Track Listing
1. El Odio Parte !
2. El Odio Parte II
3. El Odio Parte III
4. Ruinas
5. La Larga Marcha
6. Watt
7. FIN

Added: April 17th 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Hex @ Inside Out Music
Hits: 175
Language: english

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