Hexvessel to Release New Album This Spring, Tour Dates Incoming

Psychedelic Prog-Folk band Hexvessel will release a new album this spring via Svart Records. Kindred is due out on 17th of April 2020, with cover artwork by renowned artists Thomas Hooper and Richey Beckett, which you can see below. A new single will be released on the 24th of January and full album details and pre-orders are coming soon. The bands back-catalog will also be reissued as well. The album promises a darker sound and owing to that, they returned to their original studio in Tampere, Finland, where they recorded their cult classic No Holier Temple, which fused Hexvessel’s folk roots with an occult undercurrent, with the new album mastered by John Davis (Gorillaz/ Led Zeppelin/ Lana Del Rey) in the UK. Hexvessel was formed by English/Irish singer/songwriter Mat McNerney (Beastmilk -now known as Grave Pleasures, The Deathtrip, Carpenter Brut, Me & That Man, Code, Dødheimsgard). Continue reading

Beyond The Gates 2018: Live In Bergen, NO

Once again we return to the frozen north, Norway to be exact. Norway and its many metal festivals are becoming like a second home to Ghost Cult. We are thankful that we get to be part of the international metal community, covering festivals in Europe, Scandinavia, America, Canada and elsewhere. For this year’s epic Beyond The Gates, intrepid photographer Daniel Nyman traveled across the sea and over to the motherland of all that is and honest and true about black metal, and really other great kinds of metal too. Taking place at both The Garage and USF Verftet, these world-class kvlt bands With a keen eye for the grim, please enjoy Daniel’s highlights for the fest. Continue reading

FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Roadburn Festival 2018

The day is finally here! The best underground heavy music festival in the world begins today as Roadburn takes flight for its 2018 edition in Tilburg, NL. The lineup is so good, naturally, you would want to see every band, but it’s of course, impossible. Follow our sensible day by day guide to the can’t miss bands each day below. Continue reading

Damnation Festival 2017 – Live At Leeds University Union

Dragged Into Sunlight, by Rich Price Photography

Over the course of its 12 incarnations, Leeds based Damnation Festival has grown into surely the most important yearly event for underground music lovers the UK has to offer. Far from merely an Extreme Metal festival, Damnation is the closest the UK has to the all-encompassing nature of Roadburn in its celebration of a wide spectrum of sub-genres. This year’s edition seemed to be especially diverse with a rich amount of Extreme Metal sitting alongside expansive entities and experimental Prog outfits. With four stages within the single complex of the Leeds University Union, and a sell-out capacity crowd (admittedly reduced to counter crowding issues from previous editions), the layout does appear labyrinthian at first, but is pretty intuitive and easy to follow pretty quickly; which with a stacked lineup from top to bottom, makes the continuous rushing from stage to stage a little more bearable at least. Continue reading

Damnation Brings The Heaviest And Grimmest One-Dayer To Leeds Today

Dragged Into Sunlight, by Rich Price Photography

The time is nigh! Damnation Festival, the UK’s top one-day underground metal festival is back today at Leeds University Union. The fest is totally sold out again and headlined by Bloodbath, Sodom, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Paradise Lost, Dying Fetus, Dragged Into Sunlight, Nails and many more.  Continue reading

Grave Pleasures – Motherblood

One short drumfill. That’s all it takes to bring you back into the Death Rocking world of Mat McNerney (aka Khvost) before Motherblood (Century Media) launches into an uptempo angular, jangly Joy Division-inspired shuffle, and the smile spreads across the lips. Continue reading

Vallenfyre, Grave Pleasures, And Leng Tch’e All Added to Damnation 2017

Three more top-notch bands added to the ranks of Damnation Festival 2017 as Vallenfyre, Grave Pleasures, And Leng Tch’e are added to the bill. Tickets are running out for the UK’s top festival event of the late year. Continue reading

Hexvessel – When We Are Death

Hexvessel - When We Are Death album cover 2016 ghostcultmag 

Even in this musically idiosyncratic world of genres, sub-genres, tribes, sub-tribes and singleton geniuses, the desire for Finnish psychedelic folk rock may not have been top of your musical shopping list. You should change that forthwith now that Hexvessel’s third album, the striking When We Are Death (Century Media), has arrived for our collective delectation.

Four years ago, their second album, No Holier Temple was a curious and often compelling blend of Woods of Ypres inspired atmospherics, Opeth tinged acoustics and an obvious and deep-seated love of drug influenced 60s and 70s rock, particularly that made by Mr. Jim Morrison and his partners in crime in The Doors.

No Holier Temple was about the trip and the mood; it was inviting and beguiling. By contrast, When We Are Death initially appears as a straightforward folk rock record. Before you jump to a logical conclusion that they have thrown the baby out with the Finnish bathwater, hold your psychedelic horses. The band’s love of psychedelia remains resolutely intact: when you have songs called Drugged Up On the Universe and Mushroom Spirit Doors it is fairly self-evident how the band spend part of their leisure time but there is also a much more deliberate attention to song structure and that oft-ignored discipline of the tune in distinct evidence here. Have a listen, for example to the sparky, keyboard soaked friskiness of When I Am Dead or the smoky jazz backdrop of the reflective and melancholic Mirror Boy and you’ll immediately understand what I’m getting at.

At the heart of this collective endeavour is the vocal prowess of British born Mat McNerney who has a fragility and emotional heft to his voice that does three things particularly well. First: it brings an authenticity to the songs that cuts through with striking immediacy. Second: as narrator, his range is never overbearing nor irritating. Third: he does the best Jim Morrison you’ve heard in ages. Oh and, yes, this is the same Mat from Beastmilk, by the way.

Hexvessel are an intoxicating proposition. They are not, repeat, not, a heavy metal band. Not in the stereotypical sense of the phrase anyway.However, Hexvessel share some of the same qualities and attitude that underscores the metal aesthetic. This is a record is a record of charm and wit and invention. It is a record that is warm and inviting and, being released in the depths of winter, you cannot say any fairer than that. So we won’t.

7.0/10

MAT DAVIES

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