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Hexecutor – Beyond Any Human Conception Of Knowledge…

Beyond Any Human Conception Of Knowledge…
by Santiago Puyol at 14 September 2020, 4:41 PM

French Black and Thrash metallers HEXECUTOR are releasing their second full-length, "Beyond Any Human Conception Of Knowledge…", this 25th September 2020 through Dying Victims Productions. It is the follow-up to 2016’s "Poison, Lust and Damnation" and features their mixture of Blackened Thrash with classic Heavy Metal and Hard Rock influences, bringing to mind bands like BATHORY and KREATOR.

"Belzebuth’s Apocryphal Mark" functions as a thrashy introduction into the sound of HEXECUTOR. Really catchy riff and driving rhythmic patterns. Vocals are screamed, but not extremely harsh. It really captures an old school vibe with the sound, in tone, songwriting choices and production value. The track takes a Power Metal-ish detour two minutes in, before moving into a punkish, almost celtic-inspired, gang vocals section. The track goes through other mood shifts but everything flows quite well together and it sums up perfectly the strengths of the band.

Melancholic, clean guitar lines open the lovely instrumental "Brecheliant", swinging along in a spidery way. It is a nostalgic change of pace and there is even a power ballad feel attached to it. More folky melodies bleed into the track and the guitar layering emulates a string arrangement at times. Tasteful soloing with some serious shredding abound. A proggy piece.

After a brief, percussive intro, "Buried Alive With Her White Silk Dress" throws the listener right into the Black/Thrash metal madness of the first track. There’s quite a few IRON MAIDEN-esque riffing sections, that really brings to mind a more classic Heavy Metal era. Those classic influences become even more evident on "Danse Macabre", one of the most immediate tracks on the record. Riding on catchy main riff and with a strong, memorable chorus, it grabs your attention and does not let go until its five minutes and a half have transpired.

"Eternal Impenitence" fires on all cylinders with some crazy shredding and a pounding bassline that does not sound that far from the intro of METALLICA’s "Orion". Being the longest song on "Beyond Any Human Conception Of Knowledge…", at almost eight minutes in length, it features extensive soloing, instrumental passages and some tempo and time signature changes.

"Ker Ys" is noisy and chaotic, going up and up on the beats per minute scale at the very beginning, as the tempo keeps on increasing, before settling into a nice groove with an exotic feel. It does not flow as well as other tracks, as transitions between some of its sections feel a little clunky, sounding a bit broken in structure. Still an impressive slice of thrashy mayhem.

Thunderstorm and rain samples contribute to the sense of melodrama of the expansive "Kroez Er Vossen". Another track that builds and rebuilds itself over the course of seven minutes. It feels a bit derivative in comparison to the other songs on the record, mainly because it does not seem to add that much new.

Closer "Tiger Of The Seven Seas" goes the Classic Metal route once again, with some RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH or once again MAIDEN-inspired riffing and a more straightforward approach to the rhythm section. It is a powerful final track, with a couple tempo changes, anchored in the outstanding guitar work of Jey Deflagratör and Joey Demönömaniac. It is quite possible the least Black Metal and also the least Thrash Metal sounding track here, but it works as a charm. The band’s sound is still there, obviously, but they let the 70’s and 80’s Heavy Metal influences become more prominent.

"Beyond Any Human Conception Of Knowledge…" is a solid record whose main weakness is its, at times, muddied production, and its main strength lies on the skilled musicianship and consistent songwriting. The way the band incorporates and mixes elements from the past into their sound is more than commendable and they also know when and how to throw in a fine hook. A promise of greater things to come for HEXECUTOR.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Belzebuth’s Apocryphal Mark
2. Brecheliant
3. Buried Alive With Her White Silk Dress
4. Danse Macabre
5. Eternal Impenitence
6. Ker Ys
7. Kroez Er Vossen
8. Tiger Of The Seven Seas
Jey Deflagratör – Guitar/Vocals
Joey Demönömaniac – Guitar/Backing vocals
S. Chainsaw Maeströr – Bass
Putrid Vön Rötten – Drums
Record Label: Dying Victims Productions


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Edited 09 February 2023

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