Hexed – Pagans Rising

Hexed
Pagans Rising
Label: ViciSolum Productions
Out: September 30th, 2022
Playing time: 49:25

Four years have passed since the debut of “Neverworld”. A lot has happened in the camp of Swedish Heavy Metal band Hexed since then. They toured Europe, playing at Metal Over Malta Festival 2019, among others. And then Corona came along. And Hexed were one of the first bands to give a live stream concert. Hexed were formed in 2015 in the Swedish metropolis of Uppsala. From 2016 to 2017, four singles and an EP were released, before the aforementioned album Debut was released in 2018. And now we can look forward to the follow-up “Pagans Rising”.

The title track “Pagans Rising” is right at the beginning of the album. Singer Tina Gunnarsson starts off powerfully. Here you can hear the energy that I could already experience live. Later she switches between harsh tones and clear vocals. And it is obviously husband Stellan who contributes the growls. Musically, Hexed move in the Power Metal genre with occasional references to Pagan. A successful start. With “Resurrection” follows one of the highlights of the album. Starting with synth sounds, it later becomes heavy, but melodic. Here Tina proves what a great rock voice she has. And her band colleagues fire off a storm of riffs. Of course, a guitar solo must not be missing. “Stigma Diaboli” then sounds quite dark, in keeping with the name. While big choruses and orchestral passages provide an epic impact. In addition, the tempo is partly reduced here. A hymn-like midtempo song. In “Repentance” you hear synths again at the beginning. But later the guitars are roaring. The clear vocals are repeatedly underpinned by evil growls. Despite all the heaviness, “Incantation” sounds more melodic than its predecessor. Classic Heavy Metal. With “Prophecy”, the Swedes swing into the realms of high-speed metal. Thanks to its driving rhythm, “Symphony Of Tragedy” encourages headbanging. “Blasphemy” and “Dark Storm” sound dark again. And not only because of the pressing guitar passages, but also because of the partly darker timbre of the singer and the growls that can be heard again and again. The album ends with the hymn-like “Moorfield”.

“Pagans Rising” is a successful second album by the Swedes. Good and varied songwriting is paired with a convincing musical performance. The occasional use of synths may not be to everyone’s taste. They are a little disturbing here and there. Especially because the sound is otherwise extremely heavy.

Hexed – Repentance (Official Lyric Video): https://youtu.be/4xhSFVWtHZc

From left to right: David Nyman (Guitars) Stellan Gunnarsson (Guitars, Vocals) Tina Gunnarsson (Vocals) Patrick Wahlberg (Drums) Daniel Håkansson (Bass)

Lineup:

Tina Gunnarsson – Vocals
Stellan Gunnarsson – Guitars, Vocals
Daniel Håkansson – Bass
David Nyman – Guitars
Patrick Wahlberg – Drums

Track list:

  • Pagans Rising
  • Resurrection
  • Stigma Diaboli
  • Repentance
  • Incantation
  • Prophecy
  • Symphony of Tragedy
  • Blasphemy
  • Dark Storm
  • Moorfield
  • 8/10
    Album - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Cover-Art - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Songwriting - 9/10
8.3/10
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