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Hexvessel – Kindred

by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 02 April 2020, 4:07 AM

HEXVESSEL is a Psychedelic Forest Folk Rock band from Finland that was founded back in 2009 by Mat McNerney. This is their sixth full-length album in only 11 years of existence. They are highly productive but a lot of fans criticized the band after the release of the second album called ‘’No Holier Temple’’ that they departed from the more Medieval Folk Rock from the first release. The band was mostly based on the acoustic elements and the emphasis were really on that than anything else persay. They dived in more of a Progressive Folk Rock after the first album and it divided the fanbase nonetheless. Let’s see if they came back to their roots for this release that will be on shelves in the middle of April.

You have to love an album that starts with the calming waves of the ocean on ‘’Billion Year Old Being’’. It’s a very psychedelic progressive song and it goes everywhere at once. You have the organ sounds and the rather outrageous effects in the instruments that makes this opener stand on its own. It’s one hell of a way to start off an album persay and it’s a sign of things to come.

 ‘’Kindred’’ has a very theatrical appeal to say the least. They did however come back to their Medieval Forest Folk Rock sound on this album. They still have the progressive rock elements of older giants like VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and KING CRIMSON. This seems to be mix of the old and the new sound of the band and I think this will appeal to the fans of the first album. You can definitely hear the influences of KING CRIMSON on ‘’Bog Bodies’’, like if you mixed KING CRIMSON with a majestic film score from back in the day.

‘’Phaedra’’ shows off the musical genius of Jess Heikkinen, he just shows off his pure talent and just pours his heart out. The guy is a great guitarist, rather underrated to say the least. He adds this dimension that you weren’t expecting. It seems like a coming out party for him and now the whole world can see how good this guitarist is.

I wasn’t too keen on ‘’Kindred Moon’’ and ‘’Magical & Damned’’, they did however show their softer side and Matthew McNerney does shine brightly on this one. He shows off a broad range of emotion and these are very calming songs, nothing fancy but brings the listener to another place and time. They are quite the departure from the rest of the album and showed off some character nonetheless.

It does take time to really appreciate the band as a whole. It may take you more than one listen to fully understand the plethora of talent that they offer. They are not for everyone but if you guys like the more smoother PORCUPINE TREE songs and you were fans of the first hour, you will greatly be pleased by this new opus.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Billion Year Old Being
2. Demian
3. Fire of the Mind
4. Bog Bodies
5. Sic Luceat Lux
6. Phaedra
7. Family
8. Kindred Moon
9. Magical & Damned
10. Joy of Sacrifice
Matthew Kvohst McNerney – Vocals and Guitars
Kimmo Helen – Piano and Keyboards
Jukka Ramanen –  Drums and Percussion
Jesse Heikkinen –  Lead Guitars
Ville Hakonen –  Bass
Record Label: Svart Records


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