Band: Hex A.D.
Title: Netherworld Triumphant
Label: Fresh Tea
Release Date: 9 November 2018
Format reviewed: High Quality Digital Promo
Friday night. Sick and tired of another hell of a busy week, no one waiting for you at home, wandering on the streets. The evening when the soul needs to let all go and have fun. Going to a local club for a drink. Or few more. Throwing away that tie. Ordering a big glass of whisky in the dim light. Feeling the heat of the first sip. The heat flows around the body, the eyes begin to burn, seeking for Her. The mind begins to play… Hex A.D. are playing too in the background.
A music soaked with dimmer lights, whiskey and smoke. With blues and dreams. Hard rock, 70’s feeling and huge doomy riffs. Mesmerising solos and that Hammond organ and mellotron tunes all through the 7 tracks. 6 actually, as “Himmelskare” is a two and a half minutes introduction. This is “Netherworld Triumphant” – the new album by the Norwegian hard rock/progressive doom quartet Hex A.D. The band is being brought up to live by th edrummer/singer Rick Hagan and producer Chris Tsangarides. Their debut “Even the Savage will see Fair Play” was released in 2012. Band’s second “The last nail in the coffin lid” has been made for just 8 days, in 2015.
“Skeleton key, Skeleton Hand” actually didn’t convince me that it should be an opener for the album, just because didn’t click solidly with me, despite it is containing all the elements the album offers with the following tracks. Something which “Netherworld Triumphant” pt.I does perfectly – it just dives deep into the mood of the album, representing the message of the band for the overall feeling here. Great hard rock and doom riffs, with bluesy SRV solo… Then my favourite “War Child” – a heavier, Black Sabbath-esque doom track with absolutely blowing away outro solo. “Boars on Spears” is great ballad, really like it came out under the pen of the 70’s progressive hard rock bands meeting Uriah Heep. Sad, dreamy. Sad. Fatal. Dreams destroyed. The album ends with the 13 and half long “Ladders to Fire”, a very dark song, with another absolutely stunning solo ripping through the parts of the track, till its very end.
Probably if in the 70’s Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and maybe Genesis (or even Jethro Tull) were one, they would sound like Hex A.D. The progressive doom vibes are excellently mixed with hard rock gentleness. It is a definitely a grower album, just because of its progressiveness and musicianship, delivering multilayered compositions, which gorgeously reveal themselves with every other listen. In the year of so many great doom (and all its sub-genres) albums, Hex A.D. bring us a distinctive product with unique key selling points. Despite all the heaviness, the “Netherworld Triumphant” carries that sweet taste of melancholy and bluesy dreaming. But I’ve already said that. …And another glass of whiskey in that local club. Her eyes are burning too just in front of you. There is no more time for dreaming. 8/10 Count Vlad
8/10 To Greatness and Glory
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