I know I talk a lot about the Swedish extreme metal scene, with good reason, and this post will be no different. Typically when I’m posting about Swedish metal it’s usually in praise of a death metal or black metal bands and typically those bands have something undeniably Swedish about them that makes their sound distinct or, well, Swedish. Today’s band, Hexenhaus, is a technical thrash/speed metal band, a genre that I don’t cover all that often from Sweden, or anywhere for that matter. Thusly, I’m not certain if there’s a common trait or production sound associated with Swedish thrash as there is with black and death metal, but that doesn’t really matter as this album is a beast all unto itself.
I mentioned technical, and that is surely the focus of this album. The technical musicianship on display here is staggering and these guys sure know how to play their instruments, particularly in the guitar department, where I feel the album really shines. Satan almighty, those riffs. Crushers as well as weird, proggy, odd timed passages dominate this album, they just come out of nowhere and leave your head spinning before plunging back into a killer thrash riff. The vocalist’s voice is a bit more dynamic and operatic than thrash I’m generally listening to and it’s presence gives the album an almost power metal feel, which is not a bad thing at all.
Call it what you like, the Swedes kill it again and Hexenhaus has delivered one of the most interesting thrash metal albums I’ve heard in a while.