Hexx

Wrath Of The Reaper

Album Type:
Release Date:
15th September 2017
Record Label:
High Roller Records
Total Tracks:
11
Genre:
, , ,
RATING: 

For me, this new Hexx album came out of the blue. Somewhere in 1986 during my weekly visit at the record store in the search for new music, the splendid and beautiful artwork of Under the Spell caught my eye. This album, together with Fates Warning’s Awaken the Guardian, are two of the nicest blue album covers. Back in the eighties it was a real feast to search for new stuff. Music was special and not downloadable, and almost no radio station had a program with metal music. Before deciding on buying the stuff, the salesman put on the lp so you could listen to it first. I still remember I was convinced after the first few tunes, and I immediately liked the raw singing style of Dan Bryant. Many years later, I bought their first album No Escape on cd, but also due to the less heavy sound and the vocals of Manzo I didn’t like that one as much. The same I had with the follow up of Under The Spell released in 1991, called Morbid Reality. On that album the music had changed from U.S. (speed) power metal into more of a technical thrash/death metal with growling vocals. Not that the music on that album is bad, but it was just not what I expected from Hexx. After that, they disbanded. So when I saw Wrath Of The Reaper, I was very curious about the style of music. Was it thrash/death, or have they returned to their earlier style?

Well, the music on Wrath Of The Reaper reminds me of their early days. What Hexx serves up is U.S. power metal with thrashy edges, but also with influences of 80’s British metal. With the second track ‘Screaming Sacrifice’ they convinced me that the band succeeded in making a real hammer. A mix of Judas Priest Painkiller era and early Metal Church tortures my ears. Singer Eddy Vega has the perfect sand papered aggressive and powerful singing style (a bit like David Wayne) for music like this. ‘Slave In Hell’ continues the speed, and if you listen closely, the riff used sounds like a rough version of Led Zeppelin’s riff in ‘Immigrant Song’.  A mid-tempo track with heavy riffs, ‘Swimming the Witch’ reminds me of The Dark period Metal Church. The same can be said about ‘Voices’, which also has Metal Church and some Heathen style influences. Between those two tracks, ‘Dark Void of Evil’ opens with a riff reminding me of Priest’s ‘A Touch of Evil’, and with’Unraveled’ the tempo speeds up again. The next tracks are all of the same high quality. On ‘Circle the Drain’, New Wave of British Heavy Metal influences are all over the place. The same can be said about the title track, where NWOBHM goes hand in hand with U.S. (speed) power metal.

For me, Wrath Of The Reaper is the come-back album of the year! Fans of their first two records, Metal Church fans, but also fans of U.S. (speed) power metal or Judas Priest lovers should check this one out!

Tracklist:

01. Macabre Procession Of Specters (4:01)
02. Screaming Sacrifice (4:11)
03. Slave In Hell (5:35)
04. Swimming The Witch (5:43)
05. Dark Void Of Evil (4:32)
06. Unraveled (3:49)
07. Voices (4:10)
08. Exhumed For The Reaping (5:28)
09. Circle The Drain (5:20)
10. Wrath Of The Reaper (4:10)
11. Certificate Of Death (4:44) / CD-Bonustrack

Playing Time: 51:00
Line-Up:

Eddy Vega - vocals
Dan Watson - guitars
Bob Wright - guitars
Mike Horn - bass
John Shafer - drums

Reinier de Vries
About Reinier de Vries 188 Articles
Once a metal head, always a metalhead. My parents thought it would only be a period, but they were wrong. I quit to explain the beauty of metal music to others that are not into metal, because it is something you can't tell in words... It is like explaining to a teetotaller why a cold beer is so nice on a hot day... I started with bands like Accept, Metal Church, Iron Maiden and Metallica in the eighties and I think I will still listen to them when I'm stone deaf and old...

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