Hekseri: S/T CD

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Since 2004, Hekseri have been one of Boston’s loudest and most volatile black-metal bands. After several demos and a split single, this staple of the Boston scene have finally released their full-length debut. Founded by two wiccans, who named their group after the Danish/Norwegian word for witchcraft, Hekseri are indeed a cold and dark conception. Guitarist Megan Leo creates thin, powerful riffs that slice flesh from the bone, Jason Cammarata supports the guitars with a merciless bass rumbling, and drummer Seth Greenblatt pounds furiously. Meanwhile, Leo and Marissa Glaser spurt unholy lyrics of anti-religion, war, wrath, and dark paganism in shrill screams and growls. Despite the uncompromising brutality, Hekseri are essentially melodic — a mix of chaotic power and lyrical grace, much in the same way that the album art depicts death-gray bodies foregrounding a serene blue-sky mountainscape. “Gods of Rotting Death” is a crushing dirge-like hymn, “Bladefucker” a relentless, thrashing onslaught, “The Atrocity” a haunting hymn that breaks into a dissonant chaotic anthem. It’s an exhausting listen, but a fitting tribute to the dark arts, and rewarding for those willing to brave the pummeling.

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