Hexenhaus - _Dejavoodoo_
(Black Mark, 1997)
by: Brian Meloon (8 out of 10)
Hexenhaus return with a new offering, picking up pretty much right where they left off with their _Awakening_ release (1991). For those who aren't familiar with them, Hexenhaus play a pretty technical brand of standard progmetal, with the usual melodic vocal stylings and punchy guitars. They've updated their style somewhat, but there are still a lot of similarities with their late-80s incarnation. Their music is heavier than most "progressive metal" these days, as well as being more technical (in the acrobatic sense). They have some nice rhythmic ideas including some off-time parts, as well as some Cacophony-like lead guitar dueling and harmonizing. The playing is good, with an especially impressive performance by guitarist Mike Wead (Abstrakt Algebra, Memento Mori), and solid, precise drumming. There are seven songs, of which only "From the Cradle to the Grave" (a slow, spooky sounding piece) drags. It's one of the few pieces which use keyboards, as they typically go for a more stripped-down, simpler approach. The production is clean and appropriate for their style. Overall, this is a pretty solid offering, and should appeal to those searching for something more aggressive than the usual wimpy stuff that's passed off as "progressive" these days.

(article published 11/17/1997)


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