Monday 15 February 2016

Hexenjäger - Black Titan (Album Review)

Release date: January 18th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Black Titan – Tracklisting
1.Dark Lord's Crusade 06:22
2.Iron Riders 05:59
3.The Pit 05:59
4.Black Titan 19:32

Band Members:

Charly - vocals
Charles - guitars
Flo - bass
Ben - drums


Hexenjäger deal in the kind of doom/stoner rock that can be seen as mournful with its sludgy riffs but also has a pure, attitude laden rock n roll spirit that soars right through it. The French bands debut album Black Titan has only four songs on it but in those four songs, they capture an atmosphere and vibe that is both triumphantly infectious as well as at time utterly bleak.

Black Titan starts with the sludgy riffs of Dark Lords Crusade that morphs into a galloping march that is reminiscent of Pentagram and this doomy momentum continues throughout as the riffs crash and collide with the commanding vocals and gets the album off to a great start.

Iron Riders follows and sounds like an unholy (and hugely appealing!) union between Kyuss and St Vitus, this a catchy jam with a main riff that swirls right through the song and casts a bewitching spell over the track with ease. When frontman Charly bellows "WE. ARE. THE. IRON. RIDERS" with a minute of the song left, this signals a full on groove that ends Iron Riders on a high.

The more traditional doom of The Pit follows in a mournful style but as with the previous song, it is the guitar stylings of human riff machine Charles that elevate the song above many identikit doom bands and these guitar heroics combine to great effect with the wailing vocals and a solid rhythm section to create an enticing groove.

The mammoth title track closes the album in style, the bass led intro creeps like a horror film villain in the shadows and the feeling of dread is palpable before a mogadon paced groove filters in, and this in turn sets the tension before a massive bass led riff kicks in and the soaring vocals join in to the riff led doom assault. Despite the song being nineteen and a half minutes long, it feels nowhere near that amount of time as the riffs take your head on a fantastical journey to the very end, and when the song nears its end, it explodes into a heavy and groovy jam that won't fail to put a smile on your face with its sheer quality Before descending into a sludgy pit of nihilistic dirge and pained singing at the finale.

Black Titan is an album packed full of solid, heavy set grooves and all encompassing riffs that will take over your head and Hexenjäger have both the songs and the riffs to make a lasting mark in the world of doom and stoner rock.

Words by Gavin Brown