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Showing posts with label Vex. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vex. Show all posts

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Vex/Sky Exile/Eihwaz Recordings/2016 CD Review

  San  Marcos,  Texas's  Vex  have  returned  with  a  new  album  that  takes  the  melodic  and progressive  mixture  of  black  and death  metal  of  previous  recordings  and  expand  on  it  by  mixing  in  elements  of  folk,  post  punk  and  ambient  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Sky  Exile"  which  will  be  released  in  June  by  Eihwaz  Recordings.

  Distorted  guitar  drones  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  tribal  beats  and  after  the intro  the  music  start  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  musical  direction  along  with  some  black  metal  screams  and  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  after  awhile  death  metal  growls  make  their  presence  known  on  the  recording.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  and  the  clean  guitars  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  progressive  feeling  while  melodic  vocals  are  also  utilized  at  times  and when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  are  utilized while  the  acoustic  guitars  bring  in  a  touch  of  folk.

  Some  of the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  as  the  album  progresses  elements  of  post  ambient  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  all  instrumental  while some  of  the  slower  riffs  bring  in  a  touch  of  doom  metal  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  some  of  the  faster  riffs  bringing  in  a  small  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  some  songs  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  parts.

  On  this  recording  Vex  remove  the  thrash  elements  that  where  present  on previous  recordings  while  keeping  the  melodic  black  and  death  metal  style  and  taking  it  into  more  of  a  progressive  direction  on  this  recording   and  mixes  in  influences  of  folk,  ambient  and  post  punk  to  take  their  musical  style  to  another  level,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while the  lyrics  cover  dark,  depressive  and  metaphysical  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  vex  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  the  progressive  and  melodic  styles  of  black  and  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Empyrean"  "The  Cygnus  Light"  "Dark  Skies  Painted"  and  "August  11".  8  out  of  10. 


Friday, December 14, 2012

Vex/Memorius/Horror Pain Gore Death Productions/2013 CD Review

  Vex  are  a  band  from  Texas  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  with  a  musical  style  that  mixes  melodic  black metal  with  progressive  death  metal  and  thrash  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2013  album  "Memorious"  which  will  be  released  by  Horror  Pain  Gore  Death  Productions.

  Drums  range  from  slow,  mid  paced  to  fast  drumming  with  some  blast  beats  being  utilized  at  times,  while  the  bass  playing  has  a  very  strong  and  powerful  sound  with  heavy  riffing  that  dominates  throughout  the  recording.

  Rhythm  guitars  range  from  slow,  mid  paced  to  fast  riffs  that  combine  melodic  death  metal  with  progressive  death  metal  and  thrash  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  while  the  lead  guitars  are  very  melodic  and  progressive  sounding  black/death  metal guitar  solos  and  leads,  as  for  the  acoustic  guitars  when  they  are  utilized  they  use  finger  picking  and  full  chords  to  add  more  progressive  touches  to  the  music.

  Vocals  range  from  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  to  deep  death  metal  growls  along  with  a  brief  use  of  clean  singing  and  spoken  word  samples,  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  depressing  themes,  as  for  the  production  it  has  a  very  strong,  powerful,  heavy  and  professional  sound  where  you  can  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording  with  some  of  the  songs  being  long  and  epic  in  length..

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Vex  and  if  you  are  a f an  of  this  band,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Carve  My  Eyes"  "Spectral  Nation"  "Away  From  The  Sun"  and  "A  Drinking  Song".  RECOMMENDED  BUY. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vex Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about Vex for those that have never heard of you before?

Vex originally began in San Angelo, West Texas, formed by Bill and Ciaran. The band underwent many many different personnel and stylistic changes over the years. We have been jamming with the current lineup since early 2008 and we feel like we've finally discovered the Vex sound after all these years.

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album?

Well interestingly, Thanatopsis comprises material that we've been playing live for a long time; some of the songs we wrote all the way back in 2000 and 2001. But when we began tracking this record, we were also writing new material that reflects a lot of the progressive rock and jazz fusion music we were beginning to listen to and be inspired by; you can really hear those influences on 'Thanatos' and 'The Past is Frozen.' So since those two songs ended up on this album, the album sort of documents a lot of the history of the band as well as reflecting a change that was just beginning to happen in our sound.

3. What are some lyrical topics and concepts the new album explore?

Well I'm maybe not the best person to answer this one but in general the lyrics explore a philosophy of personal nihilism and through that lens it sort of views the world and all the big formative experiences that a person can go through in life. The album name is reflective of that--even though 'Thanatos' is an instrumental, the concept of Thanatos and Thanatopsis pervades many of the lyrics. In my view, that's really what the album cover symbolizes as well--a monument to a human life, though from the perspective of nature. The natural world outside of the human species approaches death much differently than we do. That's what the Bryant poem 'Thanatopsis' is about that inspired many of the lyrical themes on the album, essentially a view of humanity and death from the perspective of the natural world.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the band's name?

Well as I mentioned Vex has a lot of history, many different band members and many different musical styles. If I remember the story correctly, the name was chosen at random out of a dictionary. We've discussed changing it, but no matter how much we evolve as a band, that name always just seems to fit with what we are doing.

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?

Actually the CD release show for this album I would say is right near the top of the list for us. We were able to land an opening spot for Katatonia, Swallow the Sun, and Orphaned Land at Emo's here in Austin. We played a good set to a packed house and then topped it off by getting to watch some of the best metal bands out right now. I wouldn't really know how to describe our stage performance; we don't really have the typical metal look. Honestly I think most of the time we are more concerned with how we play and the stage presence just kind of naturally happens as a result of our feeding off of the music. It's not something we really plan in advance.

6. Do you have any touring plans for the new albums?

Not as of yet. We have a ton of new songs that we need to get written and recorded first, so that's gonna be the focus of the band at least for the near future. After that, I'm sure we will look at touring.

7/ What is going on with the side projects these days?

We all keep very busy with side-projects. Bill has a very well-received and talented metal band in San Angelo called A Black Anatomy. Ciaran's side project Nosferion is in the midst of recording a new album, really good sort of primitive black metal but with a more modern edge. I play regularly in a band called Batcastle based out of Austin, and actually Mike and I collaborate on many of the same side projects like Ruins of Honor, Alternate 15, and The Stan Laurels.

8. How has your music been recieved so far by extreme metal fans worldwide?

It's hard to say, really. As I mentioned we don't really have a typical metal look, and I wouldn't say our sound is typical metal in any way, so I'm always interested to see how really hardcore metal-heads react to our stuff. Overall it's been fairly positive; we've been very pleased that most of the reviews coming in on Thanatopsis have been generally positive.

9. How would you describe your musical progress over the years?

Well Vex in its original format was more heavy rock, kind of catchy, heavy stuff. As the band continued, the music took on a more extreme sound, incorporating 'dirty' vocals and faster drumming, etc. It was during 2000-2005 that we wrote most of the stuff on Thanatopsis, and we were gigging practically every weekend at the time so that was where we really polished those songs to their current state. But just as we were beginning this album, we began to see that a lot of our non-metal influences, particularly progressive rock bands, were beginning to seep into the sound, and that's something that's continued to this day, as our music just seems to get weirder and weirder.

10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Honestly I think we've gotten to the point as a band that we really don't even pay much attention to who our influences are anything of that nature. We really just listen to any type of good music; I know that may seem like a half-assed answer but it's really true in our case. I mean I can trace influences of everything from metal bands like Vader, Iron Maiden and Dissection all the way in the other direction to the Beach Boys, the Beatles, the Zawinul Syndicate, etc. Really just all over the place. If something's good we listen to it, and the more we listen to something the more it tends to work itself into the music in all kinds of subtle and unsubtle ways.

11. Outside of music what are some of your interests?

Well I am in the process of transitioning to playing music full-time, so it seems like there is less and less time to maintain interests outside of music, but I mean I watch a lot of sports, cook a lot, some nerdy science shit, pretty standard stuff I guess.

12. Any final words or thoughts before we close this interview?

Just a big thanks for the review and the interview!

Official website

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vex/Thanatopis/Horror Pain Gore Death Records Records/2010 CD Review

Vex are a band from Texas that plays a mixture of melodic black metal and progressive death metal with a thrash edge and this is a review of their 2010 album "Thanatopis" which was released by Horror Pain Gore Death Records.

Drums alternate between slow, mid paced to fast playing and not much in the way of blast beats, while the bass playing has a very strong tone with some progressive sounding bass riffs.

Rhythm guitars combine many different genres of metal together ranging from black, death and thrash metal that also combine  a lot of melody and progressive parts together, while the lead guitars are very melodic and progressive sounding black/death metal guitar leads, as for the acoustic guitars when they are used, they utilize a lot of open chords to add to the progressive elements.

Vocals are mostly high pitch screams that combine influences from black metal and thrash metal that also have a death metal edge at times, while the lyrics cover somewhat dark times that deal with more real life type situations, as for the production it has a very dark and raw feel while still having a professional sound that captures all of the musical instruments.

In my opinion Vex are a very good band for their style of music, if you are looking for a band that mixes black, death and thrash metal together with some progressive and melodic edges but a little bit more rawer, check this band out. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Motionless" "Eyes Of Wrath" and "Erosion". RECOMMENDED BUY.

Official website