Release: March 30, 2018
HEXED was formed in 2015 by vocalist/songwriter Tina and lead-guitarist/ songwriter Stellan Gunnarsson in Uppsala, Sweden. Both of them played in several bands before and had an early history in the metal scene and of music composing. Now they wanted to create and write music together, something completely new. They started writing songs and soon they knew exactly what kind of sound they were aiming for. Since both of them had the source of inspiration from bands such as Queensrÿche, Crimson Glory and Pagans Mind they knew that they wanted to create metal music with focus on strong and powerful vocals combined with melodic guitars. When they had the songs ready and the preproduction was about to start they had to find members who got the qualities required to setup the band. The driven bass player Daniel Håkansson who played earlier in other metal bands, were chosen to take place along with the experienced musician Teddy Möller on drums. HEXED was now formed and complete as a band.
05. Exhaling Life
10. Remake My Soul
The debut single and lyric video release ”Dreams” was launched in the beginning of May 2016. Meanwhile the album "Netherworld" was recorded and produced in 2017, HEXED released their second official music video ”Exhaling Life”. This song and video contains guest vocals from Thomas Vikström and it is filmed and produced by the talented Magnus Ewald who also produced videos for Liv Sin, Crucified Barbara, Firespawn etc. "Exhaling Life" was also released as a limited-edition promo EP in March 2017. The interest and response for HEXED music after the releases have been overwhelming. HEXED got several proposals to consider and are very proud for the decision to sign a worldwide deal with Thomas Hörnkvist and ViciSolum Productions. This swedish label already have several established bands in its row, such as Persefone, Loch Vostok and Divine Ascension. And now, precisely a year later, HEXED will release their first full-length album ‘’Netherworld’’.
‘’Netherworld’’ starts with ‘’Obedience’’, a super powerful track to begin with. That promises a lot for the rest of the album. I really like the extra screams over the chorus, I haven’t heard that before and it gives me chills. ‘’Roots’’ seems to be a bit heavier than ‘’Obedience’’ but it has the same atmosphere. The third track, ‘’Forsaken’’ was earlier released on ‘’Exhaling Life EP’’ last year, and that was actually a song I disliked. I am kind of torn on ‘’Forsaken’’, I really like the verses and the instrumentals, yet the chorus and the yelled ''FORSAKEN!'' don’t do it for me.
‘’Oceans’’ opens with some electronic/orchestral influences in it, and then its just bass and Tina. I am still so heavily impressed by Tina’s voice, i can’t find any imperfection or weakness. Also, the growls by Stellan are used the right way, not too much, not too less. Next up is ‘’Exhaling Life’’, a song we also have heard before on HEXED their first EP. This song features Thomas Vikström from Therion who is also to be seen in the official music video. The song falls perfectly in that heavy metal genre, but I hear some symphonic influences in the instruments as well. Tina and Thomas' voices fit perfectly together and are in the right balance. I was afraid that Thomas would overshadow Tina, but that is totally not the case. The song itself is extremely catchy. The title track ‘’Netherworld’’ is yet another masterpiece. It seems this song is a bit more progressive than the rest, but I’m all in for the diversity.
‘’Lightyears’’ was released on ‘’Exhaling Life EP’’ as well, so it was actually the first song I have ever heard of HEXED. It is catchy and got me singing along when I listened to it the second time. In this song we also get to hear Stellans vocals, which add a nice new layer. For ‘’Stars’’ it is the same, but I need to mention the guitar solo and the spoken word parts. ‘’Illuminate’’ kind of seems to go back to the heavy, maybe even industrial metal side of HEXED, while still keeping it super symphonic. The last song is ‘’Remake My Soul’’, and I’m kinda sad it’s already over. This song another shows yet another side of HEXED, because this truly is a duet between Tina and a mystery guest… I can’t find anywhere who it is.
To quote myself from last year: "I keep on being amazed by the sound of Tina's voice. It is so powerful, but under so much control. Hexed is a super talented band, and I think this is one of the best EP's I have heard up till now". Now, imagine that EP but three times its awesomeness, and you get ‘’Netherworld’’. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, if you are into symphonic metal or willing to get out of your comfort zone, LISTEN TO HEXED! Mark my words, this band is gonna come far, and therefore I rate ‘’Netherworld’’ by HEXED a 10 out of 10!
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Tina Gunnarsson – Vocals
Stellan Gunnarsson – Guitars
Daniel Håkansson – Bass
Teddy Möller – Drums