‘The Hill Temple’ has been a while coming for Hex. The Wellington trio have been refining their sound since their 2006 EP ‘Calling To The Universe’, and have sharpened their self-described folk metal into something a bit more indefinable.
Incorporating goth, Riot Grrl grunge, a touch of prog, more traditional tropes of metal and folk music, Hex have created a fresh sound throughout this album debut.
A hint of Gregorian in the chanted vocals adds a spice to the mesmerising, dissonant harmonies which highlight the vocal work by Kiki Van Newtown. That’s only one of the highlights of ‘The Hill Temple.’
Lyrically literate and astute, the songs channel feminine power and feminist themes over some intense rhythms.
The sinuous It Begins With A Man packs a rhythmic punch and the garage-rocking Page of Pentacles achieves that dual goal of having melodic hooks and engaging lyrics.
The title track moves into the realm of folk with the slightly sinister, almost pagan, chanted vocals and slower rhythm, bringing the album to a natural conclusion.
With their engaging, rhythmic sound and intelligent, often metaphorical lyrics, Hex deserve to shine.