|Release Date||15 Feb 2019|
|Record Label||Century Media|
The thing about softer albums is that, in order to prevent the listener from losing all interest, they have to be very well done. Unfortunately, Hexvessel’s newest release All Tree almost completely misses the mark. Each simple song fades into the next (with the exception of maybe two) with a frustrating lack of variety.
All Tree quickly wears out all the psychedelic charm of Hexvessel’s earlier works and the whole record sounds more like something Ed Sheeran would release after going camping for a week. None of the musicians seem to be excited or even invested in the music, and continuously seem to be as disinterested as I was listening to it.
There are four instrumental tracks throughout the album, but they fail to emphasize the transitions they intend to, mostly because they just get lost in the rest of the album. If the songs in between were a bit stronger, the instrumentals would get the job done, but they don’t have enough substance to have any real effect.
Now, let me clarify something: I’m not saying that every album needs to be balls-to-the-wall the whole time or upset the feel of the album by including a fun song that doesn’t belong. Power metal may be my favourite, but I love many kinds of music, and plenty of slow records. I am saying, however, that even a calm, atmospheric pagan album that sings of the woods and rivers needs to have some extra flavour. There are minor changes in tone throughout All Tree, namely in ‘Ancient Astronaut’, ‘A Sylvan Sign’, which is uplifting, and ‘Wilderness Spirit’ (the only song on the album that I would actually call good), but it just isn’t enough to break free from the monotonous cloud that almost bored me into killing myself.
As I just stated, ‘Wilderness Spirit’ really is enjoyable. By the time I reached the eighth track, all hope seemed lost. However, it seemed that the Wilderness Spirit had mercy on me and actually breathed new life into my dying soul. All in all, it’s a fun tune. It’s a song that could very well be sung for a campfire dance, and the instrumentals in the last half have a nice flair.
As much as I hate to, I really can’t give Hexvessel’s All Tree anything more than a 4/10. The album quickly gets dull and just drones on and on and on (and on and on). On their own, many of the songs are bearable, but in the context of the album there were very few parts that I really liked. I’m hopeful that their next release will be of similar quality to their prior albums.
Originally written for metal-observer.com