Genre: Heavy/Thrash/Power Metal
Label: High Roller Records
When reformations, rebirths, coming back to life from your own ashes and the return to the… future happen, just for the sake of it, they leave me totally indifferent. Of course, if a band or an artist actually has something to give, it’s indeed good to return to activity etc… If not, there’s too much fuss for nothing; in fact the years of retirement are not necessarily non-creative… Anyway, let’s deal with Hexx and spare the generalities. A band coming from a legendary place, the notorious Bay Area, home of Metallica, Exodus, Testament, Forbidden and so many others. They belong to the third generation that sprouted out of San Francisco (newer than Forbidden) even though they were initially formed in 1984. The first era of Hexx is the most known to the wider audience with the release of two studio albums (‘No Escape’, ‘Under the Spell’) and the ‘Quest for Sanity’ EP, with ‘Under the Spell’ standing out. Then came changes in the lineup and only one (and an EP) additional album, 1991’s ‘Morbid Reality’. Musically, they started as a Power / Thrash metal band, later they had become harsher and more technical, towards Death Metal patterns. With their new release, they choose to revisit their former sound. But not entirely. They have kept the aggressiveness and the fast riffs introduced in ‘Quest for Sanity’ (check the track “Exhumed for the Reaping”). In general, if we want to place Wrath of the Reaper somewhere or find similarities and influences, we should think of a riff mixture of Metal Church (the voice reminds a lot of the great Wayne from “The Dark” period), Judas Priest solos, a bit of Marshall Law and probably Liege Lord, along with the thrashy power metal elements of the first two records as well as an underlying Speed / Thrash vibe (beginning of “Macabre Procession of Spirits”) when things tend to get out of hand a bit. Production gives extra points to the whole effort, achieving a perfect balance; it’s clear enough but not annoyingly modern. The compositions are well written and the tracks level gives reason to the reformation of the band. The stand out track is missing, but there are a lot of good moments like in ‘Circle The Drain’, (poor man’s “Touch of Evil” ?) ‘Dark Void Of Evil’, ‘A Slave In Hell’ and the self-titled one. Decent.