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Jex Thoth - s/t (8/10) - USA - 2008

Genre: Psychedelic / Doom Metal
Label: I Hate Records
Playing time: 50:57
Band homepage: Jex Thoth

Tracklist:

  1. Nothing Left To Die
  2. The Banishment
  3. Obsidian Night
  4. Seperated At Birth
  5. Son Of Yule
  6. Warrior Women
  7. Equinox Suite- A) The Poison Bit
  8. Equinox Suite- B) Thawing Magus
  9. Equinox Suite- C) Invokation
  10. Equinox Suite- D) The Damned And Diving
  11. When The Raven Calls
  12. Stone Evil
Jex Thoth - s/t

While I'm probably speaking in sweeping generalizations here, it seems that the early 70's were a good time to get into music. Whereas the psychedelic music and general outlook of the mid/late 60's was perhaps a bit too flowery and just annoyingly-happy, a few more years of LCD (are you sure they are abusing Liquid Crystal Displays or rather LSD? - Alex) abuse and a realization that perhaps we weren't anywhere near the age of aquarius had given the next decade a decidedly darker and more pessimistic outlook. That's my theory anyway as to why guitars got a good deal fuzzier and everything got a bit more minor-key.

Anyway, I'm not entirely sure where exactly JEX THOTH come into this, but it certainly seems like they came out of that early 70s come-down era. It's all pretty down tempo and while it's not quite as fuzzy and heavy lidded as, say, BARDO POND, it's still all very smokey, down tempo doom stuff that's pretty solid and overall extremely enjoyable.

It's a rather nice sound that's fairly relaxing, quite pretty even, especially when the band slows things down ("The Equinox Suite" in particular sounds FANTASTIC). Hardly what I'd call a 'dissonant' album- perhaps this might've been edgy 40 years ago but now it's pretty mellow and relaxed. The vocals are straight ahead and quite solid, while the guitars and organs float around in a pleasing and not particularly threatening manner. It's hard to describe it as anything else but "early 70s", but that's really what it sounds like. There's plenty of good rocking out moments but as with most releases of that era (or styled on that era) there aren't a lot of moments that I would say are genuinely heavy. It's all pretty consonant and laid back, the guitars occasionally pounding out some huge riffs ("Obsidian Night", for one) but generally just standing there and fuzzing out.

Still, despite the lack of any really Metal moments, the album is still pretty solid. As with most of these Neo-Psychedelic (HATE that term, but it fits quite well) bands, it's not really about headbanging but slowly sinking into a deep, preferably weed-induced trance, and this achieves that quite well. "Stone Evil" has a great intro that's extremely hippie-ish (bongos yay!!!) but brilliantly executed, and the lush organ action throughout the album is really, really nice, filling the sound out and kind of giving everything a drugged out, blurring kind of feeling.

So overall this is pretty nice stuff. While I don't really have any way to fault these guys I admit I'd like it to be a bit crazier maybe, and overall it's perhaps a bit too compact- certainly a 20 minute long fuzz and delay pedal jam somewhere in the album would've been nice. I can't complain though, it's pretty solid psychedelic stuff that most proto-Metal/early Doom Metal fans will enjoy.

(Online May 16, 2008)

Caspian Yurisich



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