HEXFIRE is a young Thrash Metal band with several Black and especially Death Metal vocal influences. The band hails from Canton or Guangzhou in the Guangdong province of the People’s Republic of China. The five young men were inspired by a weapon in the famous computer game “Diablo II: Lord Of Destruction” when they chose their band name. Lyrically, the band is also inspired by horror topics and especially by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. These inspirations aren’t really new or original but nevertheless a choice that can’t be wrong.
The band has just released a collection of demo tracks featuring an instrumental and somewhat too slow paced introduction and three regular tracks. A few editions contain the whole thing in live once again and I feel that the tracks work even better on stage than in the studio. The three short and energizing songs all include simplistic but heavy riffs, a versatile drum play and a few subtle breaks and rhythms of change here and there. Even a few well done guitar solos and small moments of glory of the bass guitar player can be found in the straight mid to up tempo songs. The band has a lot of technical quality that is only flawed by somewhat faceless vocals and a mediocre production. The tracks also lack of a few catchy passages and the songwriting still feels a little bit directionless from time to time. With a different vocal approach, a few more thought out song structures and a little bit more budget in the future, the band could maybe one day step onto the path of national Thrash Metal legends like OVERLOAD or SUFFOCATED with their dirtier and maybe more international sound.
Until then, any fan of the Chinese and in general the Asian underground metal scene could spend a few minutes on this talented but not yet mind-breaking band. If mid tempo paced Extreme Metal is your cup of tea you can also give the four tracks a couple of spins and you surely won't regret it. The band doesn’t reinvent the genre of course but they do what they can with conviction and energy – nothing more but nothing less as well.
(Online June 25, 2013)