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Review: HeXeN - State of Insurgency
State of Insurgency

Label: Old School Metal Records
Year released: 2008
Duration: 55:58
Tracks: 13
Genre: Thrash Metal


Review online: August 6, 2008
Reviewed by: Christian Renner
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 4.56/5 (91.25%) (16 Votes)

Hexen is a band out of Los Angeles and although their Myspace page says this is their debut album, their Encyclopedia Metalium page shows another album back in 2005. Although they are playing old school Thrash Metal I hear a little Crossover era D.R.I. I mainly pick this up through the vocals and the faster sections of their songs but either way it is a nice change of pace.

This album was pretty difficult to review simply because there a lot of things to like about this disc but there are few things that really hold it back as well. The good thing is the things holding the album back can be fixed, so we will just have to see.

First off the things I really dig about the album. Guitar, guitar, guitar and more guitars. The guitar work on this disc is excellent with some very nice leads with both guitarists trading off some VERY nice licks. I really like the vocals as well. It isn't a screech or growl but it isn't clean either. Like I mentioned before, think of D.R.I. and you get my meaning. FINALLY I hear a promo that doesn't have dual vocalists and this alone makes me like it.

Now we get to things I did not like. The songwriting is really all over the place. What I mean by that it seems kind of unfocused like they are just trying way too hard. Simplify the songs a bit and you have some really kick ass material here. The biggest problem I have is the overall amount of tempo changes. It seems like each section of their songs have their very own tempo. One of the best tracks on the album "Knee Deep in the Dead" starts out with absolutely killer riff but as soon as we get to the first verse the tempo skyrockets but only as long as the verse. As soon as we get to the bridge we have another tempo change. Overall I love this track but if they were to expand on that kick ass opening riff the song would flat out kick major ass.

Overall I actually liked this disc and would certainly recommend it to any fan of old school Thrash Metal. There is a lot of talent here and if they get their songwriting more focused this band could really go places.

More about HeXeN...
Review: Being and Nothingness (reviewed by MetalMike)
Interview with vocalist/bassist Andre Hartoonian on March 3, 2012 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with vocalist and bassist Andre Hartoonian on September 11, 2021 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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