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Hexenhaus - A Tribute To Insanity (10/10) - Sweden - 1988

Genre: Dark Metal
Label: Active
Playing time: 42:38
Band homepage: -

Tracklist:

  1. It
  2. Eaten Alive
  3. Delirious
  4. As Darkness Falls
  5. Incubus
  6. Death Walks Among Us
  7. Mementto Moris - The Dead Are Restless
  8. Requiem
Hexenhaus - A Tribute To Insanity
"The witchhouse (HEXENHAUS) was a place of the ultimate evil in Germany in the 17th century. There had been tortured more than 600 men and women, who were accused for witchery and when they confessed their deal with Satan, they were also be killed! This album is dedicated to the souls of that innocent people!"

This dedication shall explain the concept of this extraordinary record. The musical mastermind of HEXENHAUS is Mike Wead, who became well-known with some projects like MEMENTO MORI, ABSTRAKT ALGEBRA, FIFTH REASON and especially with his involvement at MERCYFUL FATE & KING DIAMOND. Additionally he was session guitar player on CANDLEMASS' "Nightfall" album...

Musically we get a pretty original thing, which has considerable influences of bands like MERCYFUL FATE but also including some thrashy parts. Doomy passages are heard, too. Due to the quite harsh "machine-like" vocals, the record got a pretty strange touch! There are pure Thrash songs like "Incubus", but generally they use complexly songstructures. The main item of the disc is above all the longtrack "As Darkness Falls", which is divided in different parts. A song, which united all facets of the HEXENHAUS sound. This century-record belongs to the best, which I ever heard in the Metal genre. Extraordinary guitarworking, ecstating, weeping solo parts, perfectly vocals (attention!), a deeply moving atmosphere - if you think, CANDLEMASS are sad, then listen to HEXENHAUS! There had been also three another records of that band, which are all ingenious in their own kind, but no one nearly reaches the quality of their debut. The darkness had been replaced by more technical Thrash Metal... But on their 1997-made record, you can listen again to some darker stuff...

If you are familiar with the cover, don't be surprised. It's identical with "Blessed Are The Sick" of MORBID ANGEL and it shows a painting of J. Deville (1867 - 1952). It's named "Les Tresors de Satan" and it's one of the most fascinating pictures about occultism which I know. HEXENHAUS had released their record in 1988 but without permission. Unlike HEXENHAUS, MORBID ANGEL had an official license for the painting. And so our Swedish friends had to take out their disc from the stores. Due to that, the record is hard to receive. The Vinyl version appears sometimes at some markets - but the CD is as rare as winning in the lottery! But if you watch it out, you have to buy it! (Online January 20, 2003)

Ralf Henn



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