• Hexx - Entangled In Sin (High Roller Records) Album Review



    Released by: High Roller Records
    Released on: September 25th, 2020.
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    Dormant since 1991’s “Morbid Reality”, San Francisco’s HEXX , thanks to German Metal maestros High Roller, staged a slightly disjointed comeback in 2017 with the “Wrath Of The Reaper” album. HEXX’s history was what worked against them. The band began life in the glorious 1980’s Bay Area scene that spawned the likes of the legendary Paul Baloff fronted EXODUS and other thrash titans but their sound was more akin to a meaner version of the Trad Metal peddled by the likes of METAL CHURCH. Indeed, the band’s first two records - starting with 1984’s “No Escape” were on the decidedly guitar-shred focused Shrapnel label. And while their early records were excellent examples of aggressive classic Metal, the band made a decision on their next record – the 1991 “Morbid Reality” - to change things up and switch into Death Metal mode. This gave the band a bit of an identity crisis despite the fact that many fans first heard the band in this later phase - and liked it.

    HEXX broke up and skipped most of the reformation mania that raged throughout the 1990s to return with the aforementioned 2017 album. Of course the good news was we got spared any horrendous groove Metal/fake PANTERA horror show history chapter. But the question of course on everyone’s mind was - which HEXX were they getting?

    Well, thankfully we got the classic Metal Version but with only one original member in guitarist Dan Watson, the band struggled for a cohesive sound. But now two albums into their proper rebirth the act have really gotten their shit together and delivered an excellent and aggressive record. Joining Watson is an able bunch of players but special mention should go to second guitarist Bobbie Wright who also plays in classic Metal act BROCAS HELM. Bobbie brings some old school level credibility to the record with his strong playing. Vocalist Eddy Vega has also improved enormously and come into his own on this record. He was a little unsure on the previous effort but here he’s genuinely commanding. His voice has a cool raspy edge but phrasing that is similar to Rob Halford at his most pissed off.


    Opener “Watching Me Burn” is a real banger and stomping bruiser with some very amusing lyrics at about selling one’s soul. The band sets the pace with a galloping breakneck pace which is a hallmark of the proceedings after an elegant intro. The title track is next with hilarious references to various seedy sexual behaviors involving fallen preachers and other sinful shenanigans. “Vultures Gather Round” is my personal favorite on the album with its JUDAS PRIEST style vocal and stomping riff. Drinking song “Touch Of The Creature” sees Vega delivering his strongest vocal on the record with nicely modulated singing paired with sharp and melodic guitar work. “Over But The Bleeding” has a great moody vibe with an evil crooned vocal and some slick axework. “Power Mad” is a little generic but “Internal Enemy” makes up for it with some great drumming and frantic energy.

    The album closes with three bonus tracks that are remakes of earlier classic HEXX songs. The best of these is “Terror” from the first album with the other two close behind. “Signal 30 I-5” with its stinging guitar lead and disturbing road tragedy lyrics (a signal 30 is radio code for a fatal car accident) is another high point.

    Overall this is a terrific true Metal album and well worth checking out for fans of this genre. Plus, as with all High Roller product, you get first class artwork and packaging including initial copies on CD with a gorgeous slipcase and the usual beautiful vinyl editions that this label is so well known for.