By: Kara Chavez
Haxen | bandcamp |
Released on April 1, 2016 via Eternal Death Records
Haxen’s self-titled full-length is an energetic, dark, and raw black metal experience. There are many parts that incorporate old school, lo-fi Norwegian black metal, but their east coast USBM style can’t be missed. This is their first full-length release since their beginning in 1998 (2008 as a full, live performing band). Their fans will be pleased with this release!
Ethereal and raging guitars start the songs that transcend you into a dark abyss. The first song off the album, ‘Black Fire Suicide’, is a supremely powerful way to start the album. By the time you get to the third song, ‘Hxn’, you are transfixed on the emotional howling of the guitar and the consistency of the drumming. To me, this is their most ‘powerful’ song. The guitars reminisce of an old school black metal sound – Darkthone or Immortal type guitar picking, before a pretty gnarly breakdown complete with screams and howls. The song finishes off in a pretty emotional state, and a cold, wintery, full moon forest comes to mind when listening in.
The vocals are front and center throughout the entire album. Growling from the underbelly of hell, it sounds pure evil and yet you can still make out most of the lyrics. It’s a great switch up from low end to high black metal screams, without making it sound too death metaly. I believe there are two vocalists, and I am assuming it is from one of the guitarists. They both connect well – a higher end and a deeper end.
By the 5th song, ‘Curss’, I start to drift a bit. Not that the songs sound too similar, but that there isn’t anything to break the songs up – yet. The next, ‘Abismo’, is one of the best songs on the album. There is a pretty sweet guitar solo that introduces you to a down tone breakdown that definitely spices the album up a bit. The vocals scream over the drowning guitars that continue into a pretty head banging breakdown.
The rest of the album continues to be a powerful, black metal rage fest. The remaining songs continue to shred, but I almost could say that this album 3 songs a bit too long. I find myself drifting a bit again, but I just restart back to the beginning of the album.
Haxen hails from Providence, RI. This is their self-titled full length LP, out April 1st. I think seeing them live would be a good choice! I hope to see them myself one day.