Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Review: Hex – Behold the Unlighted

Label: Vertebrae / Negre Plany / Hecatombe Records

Date: March 24th, 2022

Hello my black notebook and pen for reviews! You know those beautiful notebooks for your favourite class in school? That’s what I have for my reviews and notes about Abaddon Magazine. I didn’t see it for a while. Someone had to study about secrets of dead bodies in pathology books… Pretty metal, huh? No, it’s pure torture, trust me. But here I am again, so let’s see what Hex have to show us.

I wasn’t such a big fan of doom metal, but by talking to a lot of people who play that kind of music and by living in doom(ed), plagued time I started to like it. There is something darkest and heavy about this subgenre. When you say doom you think of those boring, too long songs with one riff on guitar but Hex is not like that at all. I don’t know what but I feel some special energy by listening to them.

The new EP titled “Behold the Unlighted” was a treat to listen to and write about. It consists of only three songs but their duration is (as always in doom metal) five to eight minutes. I suppose it is a conceptual album of closed compositions, like a circle, and we will see why.

The great fact about this EP is that from its first to the last song there are a lot of different riffs and breaks, so I thought there was more songs between them but no, I am sure there was just tree when I saw a list on the CD. There are some things this album is special for, but also those other less pretty facts. So, let’s see what my black book and pen for reviews wrote down for them.

Anyway, EP is dark as the darkest night. Darkness is simply their mark, so that’s the main theme. Everything is about dark nights, unknown places and fear. Expected for a doom / death metal band. It starts with the song “As Darkness Descends Upon You”. The introduction is so beautiful. Played on piano and after that, the shredding began. While listening I imagined some dark forest in the middle of nowhere and some killing ritual that was going on. Sorry for my horror side of the mind but the vibe of the song is just like that. It has a lot of breaks and all of them are different but well combined.

I didn’t even notice when the other song began. A song where evil rises. That’s how I would call it, because the energy is really evil good and heavy. It’s slower than the previous one but no less good. I can say there are some oriental guitar riffs which are really a good fit here. Nothing much but surely a good stuff. Narratives through all tree songs have their own meaning and they are some kind of short entrance to what will come next. If we remember the circular composition of the album, it has its own purpose. 

A song that took my heart is the last one, for sure. It’s called “And Thus Spoke Darkness”. All eight minutes you have a rhapsody of good guitar riffs, vocals and acoustic moments which bring up the atmosphere. The atmosphere of the entire EP generally is pretty mystic, especially here with whispering vocal moments. Also, drum blasting is hard, vocals also but the main melody that is going behind if you listen closely is beautiful. Think of some acoustic EP or some unplugged version of this. It would be great!

As I said, lyrics are all about darkness but there is actually more. A lot of “textbook” is present here so I did a little research, but tree songs are not enough to reveal to myself what they wanted to say. They have a special energy and good ideas but I wouldn’t mind a little bit of originality on main themes. There is a bright future before them, I am not saying they are unique so much, since there are a lot of bands that sound similar, but when I will listen to this again I will recognize Hex for sure. More oriental moments can also bring up to the quality. 

Artwork is not so inspirational. On the last album from 2017 it is much prettier art design then this one. I suppose that on this EP the artwork is a presentation of hell itself. It looks a little bit like Mordor from “Lord of the Rings” but that’s how most of us even imagine hell, all its heat and “glory”.

I hope that Hex won’t just stay under veils of darkness. I wish them a great career and I hope to hear more songs and dark inspirations for these plagued times. I hope they will make one doom tale about Covid, etc. It’s dark and it’s inspirational.

Special thanks for the CD. It really means to me to have some physical edition of material I am reviewing and, as a young journalist, my personal feeling is like I earned this on some level when I put it on my CD shelf.