Hundred Headless Horsemen - Hexagon

4 songs
19:17 minutes
***** **


Not even a year after their debut EP, Finnish psychedelic sludge metal band Hundred Headless Horsemen are back with their follow-up Hexagon, another 4 track EP that builds on the qualities of its predecessors. If there is one thing you canít say about HHH, itís that they sound like any other band. Their sound is as raw as ever, combining elements of all kinds of metal (death, sludge, black and doom) into a strange sounding hybrid. They work really hard to maintain that basement sound of theirs, and while it lacks the dynamic range of a possibly more professional recording, it definitely knows how to craft a lo-fi / no-fi charm by adding to its extreme metal sound a strange psychedelic / bluesy lead guitar that lends an otherworldly touch to the music.

The opener Blackmindfulness is a three-minute attack mostly grounded in sludge metal, but the evil growl vocals and the who-gives-a-fuck production make for some kind of punkish proto black metal vibe that reminds me of early Venom. Hšxan continues in that vein, is even slightly shorter and sports this weird lead guitar that is somehow soaring over the mix, giving the impression that Thin Lizzy must have stumbled upon HHHís rehearsal room. This becomes even more obvious on Sleipnir, where the lead guitar lays a dark wavy coating over the hellish black death sludge metal sound. Even doom elements can be made out on this track, but those slo-mo parts get fully unveiled on the closing The Hundredth Headless Horsemen, a sludgy nine minute long doom fest. While this monster track shows to what length the band is able to go, I must say that I prefer the preceding material, mostly due to its more concise nature. In the case of HHH, less is actually more.

Hexagon may only be a short twenty minutes long, but at least it came not even a year after the bandís debut. Hundred Headless Horsemen are far from being a hi-fi death metal band, but donít we have enough of those? As someone who likes the early days of punk, I can sympathise with the Finnsí approach to sludge metal, and their psychedelic antics give their sound a refreshing own touch. Feel free to sample if you like your metal down and dirty!

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