‘Hell Hath No Fury’ brings the tone down with a soothing, colourful chord sequence that alternates with a crushing chorus, evoking a bit of early Cathedral. Full of emotion, the acoustic guitar layering is really effective and Rowan Robertson’s guest guitar work really adds a touch of class, although it arguably outstays its welcome a little. The Candlemass-y ‘All The Rage’ is a strong song, with addictive guitar chugging and diabolical guitar lines to make it a standout number from the album – possibly helped by its relatively shorter runtime. Rowan’s lead guitar playing is, again, fantastic, and could help see ‘All The Rage’ become a fan favourite. The three-part ‘Positively Draconian’ is the longest and final song. A mournful piano-led intro gradually darkens up before Hex A.D. pick up the pace with another killer vintage metal groove and Ronni Le Tekrø makes his presence known with quality lead playing. Its melodic, powerful outro serves as the album’s epilogue, feeling like the true end of a journey.
In a single word, the lasting impression many will get from this album is an epic one. Whether in a slow-burning, doomy way or a resplendent, progressive manner, it’s these emotions that are most likely to bring listeners back around for repeat spins. Some might say that a few minutes could have been forgone here or there, although the more direct songs and interesting, unpredictable structures prevent the album from simply becoming a slog. The heavy use of keyboards and organ, combined with the Sabbath-isms and deliberately retro stylings give Hex A.D. a certain appeal that will make fans of Ghost turn their heads; although their progressive edge and more explicit old-school heaviness may well make those who don’t like Ghost turn their heads, too. The individual musicianship on show is outstanding, and the guest appearances add extra dimensions to their songs, although the songcrafting may not sway any newcomers or fence-sitters to the genre. Nevertheless, ‘Funeral Tango For Gods & Men’ is a good effort and warrants a listen from any retro fan.
‘Funeral Tango For Gods & Men’ was released on 22nd October 2021 via Fresh Tea