Death Doom is a genre which has evolved over the years and always had a place in Death Metal’s overall history, just look back to Severed Survival the classic album by Autopsy. It has gone on to form the basis of the likes of Funeral Doom Metal and cavernous Death Metal as well and given us a further set of well respected artists. Whilst these statements are true however the genre has never, at least in my mind, exploded with everyone suddenly latching onto Death Doom, rather it has rumbled away in the background giving us the odd delicacy from time to time.
Aiming to become one such delicacy are Hex the Spanish quintet hell bent on themes of antitheism and damnation, sounds perfect to me. Having formed in 2012 the band went on to release their debut Deadly Sin in 2014 this was latterly followed up by the 2017 Let There Be Darkness demo. Now in 2019 through Transcending Obscurity Records we come across God Has No Name the bands sophomore effort, can it usher in the new age of Doom soaked Death Metal or will it stay as just another Death Metal release?
As the track Thy Kingdom Gone opens the album we witness a sort of progressive building, yet one that is devoid of much Doom influence, rather it is more like a run of the mill ambient intro. This soon blends into a mid paced clean cut brand of Death Metal that whilst heavy lacks that real Doom Metal quality which we go into the album expecting. Soulsculptor is at least more tinged with the promised Doom but it still comes across as a weirdly modern Death Metal release, this is mainly due to the traditional vocals and melodious riffs which whilst impressive do feel very polished, almost to the point of the album losing a certain amount of grit.
Daevangelism -The Dark Sunset adds further influence to the pot giving off a sort of epic nature comparable to Behemoth’s The Satanist era but with less Blackened flare and more modern Death Metal barbarity. All that said it still isn’t anything overtly exciting or captivating much like the first half of the album. Then from out of nowhere we are greeted by female vocals in Where Gods Shall Not Reign, which is an unbefitting meaningless addition that really adds nothing more. It’s almost as if Hex know that their general sound is lacking in something so they continually throw influences at it in a bid to make it interesting or seem somehow profound. The final climactic tracks are anything but that, just more tried and tested Death Metal bringing the album to dull closure.
The best way to describe God Has No Name would be to say that it is like hipster Death Metal. Not so much in its delivery but more so in its ideals, that is to say that it is sort of like someone who thinks they like to be experimental dabbling in things they don’t understand. Instead of actually weaving in new influences Hex seem to just toss them in the mix. Essentially it’s generic Death Metal with a few added pointless notions thrown in. Sure I wouldn’t be raving about this even if it didn’t have the additional facets but it would have at least been consistent and palatable instead we are given a tiresome over polished heap.
(4/10 George Caley)