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Hexed - Netherworld

Hexed
Netherworld
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 16 April 2018, 6:48 AM

Netherworld” is the debut full length album from Sweden’s HEXED, a Power Metal band that use traditional Metal and Pro elements as well.  As far as debuts goes, I find it to be strong as it contains some catchy, well written Power Metal anthems.  Tina Gunnarsson’s vocals are absolutely soaring.  What I find most enjoyable about her is that she doesn’t try to sound like most other Power Metal singers by emulating Rob Halford or Bruce Dickinson.  She has her own style, one that contains a lot of expressive tones and adventurous wails.   The band itself sounds more like KAMELOT and NOCTURNAL RITES than old school Power/Metal as they focus more on being a metal battering ram, than an epic, melodic band.

As the only guitar player, the center stage is on Stellan.  He doesn’t concern himself with overly ambitious melodies or solos that go nowhere.  He can, and does, play some melodies and solos but he concentrates on making solid riffs and giving the band their metallic edge.  The opening track, “Obedience,” begins with such a heavy crunch I thought my headphones were going to cave in.   The riff during the chorus is extremely heavy and gives a weighty atmosphere for Tina’s vocals to fly through.

Oceans,” is driven by the battering ram of the guitars plus Hakansson’s bass and Moller’s drums. The bass is the backbone of this song, keeping the rhythm during the stanzas. The guitars complement the bass well and the drums drive the whole song.  The last thirty seconds of the song is a double bass destruction derby and it really outlines how heavy Power Metal can be. The title track has some melodic riffs that open the track and some crunchy groove while Tina belts out the lyrics; her voice gets heavier than usual during some parts of the song and it sounds so good while proving her versatility.    The chorus is catchy as hell and fits into the song perfectly.  The riffs after the second repeating of the chorus are mind numbing heavy.

Those melodies I talked about return in “Lightyears,” and bring with them a Progressive sound that works well with their Power.  The solo is outstanding, as are the riffs behind it.  Hakansson and Moller really jam out here as well. The last track, “Remake My Soul,” is filled to the brim with Prog riffs and intense drumming.  They sound like a power metal MESUGGAH on this final track and its a great way to end the album.  Ronny Hemlin from TAD MOROSE provides guest vocals and it only further elevates the song. A very strong debut from a band that seems intent on making their mark on the genre.  I can’t wait to tag along for the rest of the ride.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Obedience
2. Roots
3. Forsaken
4. Oceans
5. Exhaling Life
6. Netherworld
7. Lightyears
8. Stars
9. Illuminate
10. Remake My Soul
Lineup:
Tina Gunnarsson – Vocals
Stellan Gunnarsson – Guitars
Daniel Hakansson – Bass
Teddy Moller - Drums
Record Label: ViciSolum Productions
     


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