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Hexripper – Demo 2018 (a demo review)

What to play, when it’s when it‘s raining all day long and you just have dragged yourself from work (like I do)? Well, something full of energy, of course, so Canadian old school metal worshippers Hexripper with their first demo are more than welcome.

First, how the hell did I crossed paths with these headbangers? My friend and fellow Axeman J. R. Preston has commented on the picture of Herxripper’s vocalist Kyle Harcöt‘s jacket…and I’d be damned if I am not gonna investigate what is that band, that guy with a cool jacket plays in, about.

So, here they are, Hexripper hails from Vancouver, Canada, and as mentioned previously, they adore old school metal, but they don’t hesitate to get into the classic hard’n’heavy as well.

Recorded in August 2018 and released a month later, in September 2018, Hexripper’s demo contains 5 songs full of honest metal work, but let’s have a look more properly:

The opening track, Night of the Witches Rune, is a classic heavy metal tune and a listener can quickly identify the familiar riffing pointing in the way of Venom (which is, I suppose, the main influence of the band’s musick). Although I’d prefer a little quicker tempo, personally I can’t complain, and the double guitar solo after the bridge is so sweet to my ear! All in all, good first impression, but as we will see (and you hear, in case you want to), it’s far from their best stuff on this demo.

Second cut, Patient Wolf, with a really clever lyrics – “a gentle man is just a patient wolf” – is a midtempo classic metal tune slowly going forward as a bulldozer on the scrap site and its simple riffs prove the old saying that there is a beauty in simplicity. Melodic and heavy, it certainly can do with a little polishing (and I would welcome more melodies, but that’s just me), but as a whole, it’s a good metal tune. And yes, don’t forget it’s a demo, therefore I have no doubt – if this one makes it to a official release some day – it will sound much much better.

Rightin the middle is Soldiers of Satan, and I have to say, this is the weakest track here. Cliché lyrics are somewhat part of metal music, also Satan worship is nothing new or shocking, but simply put, the track is nothing special. I’ve listened to it couple of times and nope, it’s not working for me.

But Light the Way –man, that’s Venom proper! OK, it’s blatant Venom rip off, but who fuckin’ cares? I, personally, consider this one probably the second best track on the demo.

Hexripper isalso a title of the closing track on this demo and my favourite one. It’s not completely straightforward, contains nice changes in melodies and tempo, and guys don’t shy away of employing also somewhat doomish concepts which help me to recall Cathedral and their debut album – and dude, I can swear by that album! So, obviously, I can’t but praise this final track and with the previous Light the Way it’s definitely worth listening on repeat.

Sealed, signed and delivered – considering the fact we are dealing with a new band with their first demo-material, I can honestly say, I am looking forward to whatever they will record. Guys still need to find their own voice (pun intended, as Kyle has a good one), but with a little more work on the already recorded material, this demo can serve as a good framework material for a possible debut album. And I’d love to see them playing live too!

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Rudolf Schütz

A father to two little perpetuum mobiles called kids, Rudolf is a main force behind The Rubber Axe webzine, a bookworm, musick lover and a movie fan - not to mention his virgin forays into the comics and board/card games.

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