Well this is disappointing. I asked the editor to send me, and I quote “any old shit”.
The reason being that I’d had a good run of late with everything I’ve been sent being pretty damn good. Now call me an old curmudgeon, but I was getting bored of being positive. I wanted something pants, something I could make jokes about and generally be mean spirited and self-esteem crushing because, well, I’m a bit of a cunt like that. (To be fair he did ask for DevilDriver but didn’t get it Ed) So when this Heksen CD landed on my mat I thought “great”. For one, I’d never heard of them and two they’re French so this will be a breeze I thought…..standby for the usual gags about “cheese eating surrender monkeys” and poor personal hygiene…… but it’s not to be, as this is fucking killer.
Heksen have been kicking around since 2009, releasing their “Inquisition: The Way Of Suffering” demo in 2013 and the original version of this CD as their debut in 2016. What Great Dane has done is get that album – “Post Mortem Psychanalyse” and stick it on a CD with the demo and a smattering of bonus tracks for us grateful listeners. A perfect way to discover the death metal delights of Heksen.
The tracks are arranged on the CD with the album first, then three bonus tracks (which include a storming cover of “Wolverine Blues”) then the five track demo.
The main album begins with “Persecution” an atmospheric intro…. a bit King Diamond spooky one minute, a bit Dimmu Borgir symphonicy the next then we’re off into “Behind The Mask”. This is some proper meaty death metal. Kinda like Deserted Fear crossed with Dying Fetus. The riffs are colossal and Mich’s vocals are spot on, aggressive & spiteful yet intelligible (for a Frog). Morgan’s leads are tasty and have a really distinctive tone to them.
There’s a strong Sepultura influence on tracks like the chunky “The Man From Nowhere” which is just a total banger as is the whole 8 track album to be fair. The title track features someone called L. Chuck D …… is that the bloke from Public Enemy? I’m guessing not.
Onto the bonus tracks which have a rawer, les produced feel to them which I think is cool and any cover of “Wolverine Blues” is always welcome……unless it’s done by Susan Boyle…. But then again…….
The band’s five track demo is a nice bit of added value and captures these young Frenchmen in their embryonic stages. The production is understandably a bit pants but the song quality is there alright especially on opener “Agony”. The fourth track is titled “Let’s Dance” and yes, I was a bit gutted to discover it wasn’t a cover of the Bowie track. Anyway, regardless the demo is really good and contains completely different tracks to the album proper.
Well there you go, another winner. A really great death metal album from some young lads that deserve your attention. Well done Great Dane Records for putting this little package together
8/10 Mark Eve