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HexHorn - Before The End

Before The End
by Jack Harding at 15 May 2019, 9:53 AM

Before The End” is the worst kind of album to write a review of. It is neither good enough to inspire a poetic proclamation of its virtues, or bad enough to truly crucify the material, defiling the art for comedy. Whilst entirely functional, HEXHORN have created the musical equivalent of of Beige. Inoffensive, unprovoking and merely present, never truly engaging or repulsing. This is merely an album that blends into the crowd, leaving no impact whatsoever. The entire record is simply the result of every genre cliche being haphazardly welded together, in an entirely joyless manner. It is possible to embrace cliche in an attempt to create some truly enjoyable music, but this is not that album. Here, HEXHORN spend 35 minutes pretending to be CANNIBAL CORPSE, without any of the memorable riffs, or the sense of tongue-in-cheek fun that makes their more generic releases enjoyable.

The only song off the record that I can even slightly recall is “Craftsman Of Guts”. With an intriguing slower groove starting off the song, the mere deviation from constant blast beats and tremolo picking is a breath of fresh air. This in turn makes the heavier, thrash-metal sequel sections of this song hit hard. This particular song showcases that HEXHORN do have some interesting ideas, as this meld of Death and Thrash could indeed carry an entire project, but this is never fully executed. As quickly as the thrashy riffs engage the listener, they go away, to merely be replaced by yet another generic gallop or tremolo picked Death Metal cliche.

My own boredom whilst listening to this album even seems to be reflected by the music itself. “Zeitgeber” for example, just stops out of nowhere. As if the band got bored of writing the song halfway through, and just forgot to ever go back and finish it. The riffs contained within the song are totally functional, its not as if instruments are out of tune or played poorly, but nothing grabs the listener’s attention. Dynamically, basically every song is flat out the entire time. No musical stories are told here. A song simply starts, and then stops. You are either engaged or you are not. There is no form of development or context created, we are simply presented with riffs in erratic orders, and expected to make our own entertainment. This is a trademark of the bedroom musician. These songs are not displays of art, but merely showcases of ability. It is made very clear through the running time of this album that these musicians can play Death Metal. However, in the Internet age, it only takes a quick Google search to find millions of far more talented musicians, with much more unique and refined senses of artistry. It is no longer enough to play a song and sit back waiting for people to come to you. An artist has to stand up and make themselves heard. They have to find what makes them unique and present this vision. Wallowing in the past with functional, yet uninspired content only causes the industry to stagnate. Why bother seeking out new music if all it does is mimic what has come before, but not quite as good? Each song on this record sounds the same as the last, and the moment the album comes to a close, it is already forgotten, quickly blending into the background. Now what was I talking about?

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 4
Memorability: 3
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1. Woodcarver
2. Craftsman Of Guts
3. Turn On The Lights
4. Vom
5. Follow Me
6. Upon The Scaffold
7. Blood On Gloves
8. Zeitgeber
9. Before The End
10. I Am Screaming So Loud
Edward - Vocals
Maziak - Guitar
Miro - Guitar
Bene - Bass Guitar
Bila - Drums
Record Label: Mara Productions


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