Hexvessel – When We Are Death (Century Media)

Genre: Psychedelic Rock

Hexvessel: a non-metal band that metalheads like. Why? Possibly because there is something very dark about the Anglo-Finnish outfit. Their forays into 60s and 70s-inspired psych rock aren’t loved-up flights of fancy, or acid-tinged freak-outs, more like soul music for ancient heathen tribes.

Much of the band’s third album has a melancholic hue to it and Mat McNerney’s rich vocals are imbued with a sense of sadness, loss even. Cosmic Truth and Green Gold are good examples of this, yet these fine songs aren’t buried in mournfulness and misery, and flecks of light shine in the blackness.

There’s plenty of variety too: Earth Over Us, with its organ embellishments, puts the influence of The Doors centre-stage, while the anguished, atmospheric Mirror Boy embraces folk and Drugged Up On The Universe explores the cosmos with a doom tinged riff as rocket fuel.

Put simply, if you’re looking for an alternative to cut and paste ‘occult rock’, Hexvessel might well be the answer: the six-piece draw on the past but have forged their own present, and it sounds like no one else out there.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Reaping Souls