HEXVESSEL – Polar Veil
BAND URL: https://www.hexvessel.com/
Hexvessel is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating and musically adventurous entities that I have had the great pleasure of listening to since the debut offering entitled Dawnbringer from 2011. There is an enigmatic aura to every single output of theirs, and with the gifted Mathew “Kvohst” McNerney in charge of things and consistently steering the band towards that which is enthralling and utterly profound, it is impossible not to love the British/Finnish act.
Although this upcoming gem of theirs resembles its predecessors in the sense that it is steeped in themes and motifs revolving around nature and its forces and secrets, mysticism and arcane pagan rituals, a deep-seated appreciation of the woods and fields that surround us, and spiritual journeys, Polar Veil is a harsher affair and traces its roots back to black metal, or rather main man Mat’s own musical past. The atmosphere of this deeply passionate piece of work is unlike anything that I have ever come across, and only Hexvessel could have conjured up something as original-sounding and unique as this. Cold and windswept yet strangely comforting and wildly appealing, its eight evocative compositions possess a strong emotional pull that is undeniable, and with the riffs being as beautifully haunting and otherworldly as they are, the LP comes across as a spirited and moving odyssey and a genuine musical triumph. And do not even get me started on how intoxicating the vocal melodies are.
With its innovative mixture of psychedelic pop, goth rock, folk music, and dark black metal not to mention its uncanny ability to weave all these different influences together to stunning effect, Polar Veil is bound to surprise and captivate you, and McNerney and his talented cohorts have rarely sounded better or more inspired than they do here. A superbly arranged and overall stately record crammed with phenomenal ideas and spellbinding songs. Exhilarating is the word!