Haxen - Haxen
Oh boy...here we go again. I love listening to music, and I love talking about music. I like a lot of different kinds of music too, and I know what I like out of my different musical experiences. I'm getting more experience with Black Metal lately...I'm definitely no authority on the matter. I know a few bands who I think are just awesome...I could listen to Taake or Young and in the Way (who are/were on tour together right now just killing shit) and bands like Satanic Warmaster...these guys all give me what I want from my black metal experience. They are profoundly evil and dark, the guitars are a blur of blackened speed, the vocals are crisp and distinct...and at the very least they have a drummer who is able to keep a steady beat with his bass drum. Haxen can't do ANY of that shit. I guess maybe I can give them credit for at least being evil....and the guitars are solid for this style of music. Not a lot of real clear differences from one song to the next, but at least they are done well. But I can not stand idly by and knowingly let you nice people go out and spend money on this atrocity against rhythm.
I was extremely fortunate to have been able to have my first 5-10 listens to the album at my desk at work at exceedingly low volume. When it is played very quietly you wind up not noticing that the drummer has no idea what he is doing with either his hands or his feet at any point on this entire album. I would believe it if you told me they got this drummer while they were standing around a music store and someone came in and bought their first drum set and they immediately went into the studio with him having never played drums OR heard their music before. And it isn't just that he loses it on the really fast blast beat parts, he has shown an inability to count to 4 even in the mid tempo parts of the songs...It is maddening. I understand that in the black metal genre there is frequently less focus on the precision and more focus on intensity. I find that the good bands walk that line where even with some slop here and there, you are aware of a distinct beat and there is some degree of control in the chaos...but not with Haxen. As I am writing this I just had the thought, that this is a studio album...imagine how bad this trainwreck must be live. A think about the producer of the album....imagine knowing that your name was going to be attached to this....fuck....I mean, imagine how bad the other takes of these songs must have been to get to the point where a producer would say "That's as good as it's gonna get...let's just keep that one and move on." I can't even imagine a scenario where this album would see daylight. I wouldn't release this fucking album on your moms record label. If I was involved in the making of this album I would probably blow my head off and hope my bandmates take a picture and eat me so maybe they stood a chance of salvaging a semblance of a career in this because there is ZERO chance that we would get anywhere without a fucking taboo, evil nihilistic gimmick.
The vocals are just all wrong in the mix, which also was harder to notice on my low volume listens at my work desk, but when I got to listen in the car at really loud volumes it was clear that the vocalist got screwed in the mix. I think the vocal performances were actually pretty solid and if they took more of a front seat in the mix it would have made an UTTERLY unlistenable album only MODERATLEY unlistenable. At least they are singing about evil stuff....a small consolation if you ask me, since you can't really hear anything.
Anyway, I feel like I could probably continue writing more about this but it isn't even actually worth it. All I would be doing is furthering my point that this record sucks dog shit and is an insult t musical theory. If this kind of affront to musicality is what black metal connoisseurs are looking for then no wonder it is a pretty overlooked genre. My piece of constructive criticism is to find a drummer who can keep a basic beat and this album goes from a .7 rating to a 3.1 rating. That is how bad the drumming is. If you still decide you want to sacrifice precision for intensity then at least establish a minimum expectation that is well above the low bar set by this bullshit....I tried to listen to it and say "fuck it lets just be evil and intense" but every time the drummer would forget that his right foot is supposed to move in some sense of time and ALL INTENSITY IS LOST. Intensity failure. That's it...that's the end of my thoughts on this record. Don't waste your time.
Genre: Metal / Documentary
Label: Eternal Death
Similar: All bad Black Metal sounds alike. Go ahead and Google "Worst, least talented black metal bands" and insert that list of bands in here. FFO: Terrible bullshit
- Black Fire Suicide
- Cryptic Fire
- Ceremonial Wounds