It is great to discover new music every day. Though one can have a favorite style, genre, artist, etc, one has to open the arms to new musical proposals, because you don’t actually realize that there is music for everyone, music you did not even know existed. I wrote this silly introduction because when I first listened to Hexenbrutal on myspace, I thought their sound was strange, but I was attracted. So now, after having listened to this full-length album, I can say I liked it.
Hexenbrutal is a new duo from Slovenia which is composed of Dr. Hexen and Mr. Brutal, as they named themselves. One of them plays drums, while the other makes electronic noises creating a kind of hardcore, experimental sound. The album I am reviewing was released through God Bless This Mess label, and is entitled “Think of me as a Friend”, a brutal title indeed. This record is composed of fourteen compositions, mostly short (2-3 minutes) and a total time of 47 minutes.
It kicks off with “Some say the end is near”, which starts slowly with some dissonant sounds that after a minute turn a bit louder. This track was a short introduction to the album and to their sound because in “TLL TLL” we can listen to their chaotic and repetitive sound. You may think it is not clean, I mean it may even sound like jamming, but that is their essence. The bad thing here is that when you think the song is reaching a climax, but it ends all of a sudden.
“Nobody does it to you like Polanski” has some vocal screaming. It is not really understandable what they say because they sound loud while the instruments are being played. “Oetsch Haakol” has a nice rhythm, though all the songs may have a repetitive structure and sound, I believe you can recognize and separate one from another, though in moments it seems that the album has only one long song divided in fourteen little pieces.
“Never the Machine Forever” is a longer track that has an industrial sound of some older bands. This time the rhythm begins slowly, but after a minute that brutal noise reappears, again with some screams. This track is different from the previous ones, because it has several changes within, it is not that repetitive.
“Manifestum” again starts slowly and then noises are joining little by little. This track could be used for a film scene- I imagined several things while listening to it. “Untitled” is another longer track, with several inner passages. The brutal sound prevails all the time, but the good things are the other elements added, such as a tambourine.
“Ass-Ass Destroyer” has another electronic and repetitive sound; sometimes that repetitiveness may bore you, but in this song I actually enjoy it. The introduction is pretty nice, and the song gets better when new noises appear. “Steinkohl” is a shorter piece whose sound shares despair and insanity. “All is Silent, All is Dead” has a desolated atmosphere accompanied by a lone harmonica sound.
“Synthecoresizer” has an addictive sound which may make you shake your head. “Boejc” starts with female spoken word and after a few seconds drums appear, followed by electronic noises. A minute later it stops, the vocals reappear but this time speaking while the music sounds.
“Dance, Shithead, Dance” is a different and interesting song. The music is not that brutal, now the atmosphere is a bit gentler and less hardcore oriented. It is progressing little by little and after the second minute a pretty catchy piano sound appears. The strange noises you’ll hear on this song are actually good. The last track is “Boshaftigkeit”, which starts some periodical explosions, and later everything is violent, including those screaming vocals (that by the way I don’t like).
I had a nice experience with this album, this style was actually unknown to me, and I have not really explored it, and though I cannot say I particularly love it, I accepted and enjoy it when I put it to my CD player. Give Hexenbrutal a spin, you may like it.
Review by the rocktologist