With all of the new Thrash bands out there, there is only so much a band can do within that genre to make themselves unique. Quite frankly it’s going to be hard for many of these bands to stick out with some of the restraints that come with the genre. And unfortunately for HEXEN, their debut album “State Of Insurgency”, gets lost in the crowd.
And it’s sad really because it is quite a solid album. Great performances from all the members and some pretty solid songwriting (also having their cover art designed by the legendary Edward J. Repka doesn’t hurt) just can’t overcome the overall feeling of ‘I’ve heard it all before’.
HEXEN’s mix of aggressive Thrash and intense melodies is quite charming at times. Awesome melodic work (particularly the intro to “Chaos Aggressor”) is a highlight of the album but many of the solos feel repetitive and too straightforward. Audible bass breaks and the solid drumming compliment their sound – but again much of it is only memorable when listening to it.
Most of the problems on “State Of Insurgency” come from the band’s odd shifts in energy. Normally quick moves in tempo changes and structures can be engaging for a listener but in this case it makes the music hit or miss. And thusly the charisma that the band begins to carry also shifts with the energy making the album a little less memorable then it truly should be.
This is still a good release for HEXEN. Fans of Thrash Metal are going to really love it for its solid and dedicated effort but for more main stream Metalheads might find it a little too standard. Fans of anything Thrash should pick this release up.
Songs to check out: “Past Life”, “Chaos Aggressor”, “Bedlam Walls”.
(Online August 14, 2008)