Dying for that new Meshuggah record to be done and out already? But wish they’d diversify and inject something new into their tried and true formula? Then Vexed is the outfit for you! And on their debut full-length, the Hertfordshire quartet offer up eleven righteous tracks that raise the stakes regarding where modern Metal is going.
“Ignorant” is a properly nice and nasty mostly instrumental segue that gives listeners barely a bark from Megan Targett and then lead single “Hideous” kicks in and is godly and grandiose, combining beauty and brutality with not only the way that Targett shifts from glowing to growls but also the way Jay Bacon, Willem Mason-Geraghty, and Al Harper back up her vocal power and mimic the shifting moods from cataclysmic to caressing on their respective guitar, drums, and bass.
“Fake” is a Heavy experiment with bits of Jazz and Doom colliding like an unholy union with Targett’s voice sounding positively ravenous (And do we hear some Heavy Metal scatting happening just a little bit???) while “Epiphany” is just that with the way that Targett emotes while using clean vocals for a slower but still steady bludgeoning especially with the way Mason-Geraghty pounds away on the drums. “Misery” is another one that’s out to the masses currently and one that really shows the range of Vexed as a unit with Targett wholly embracing those clean vocals for a song that’s like Meshuggah meets Devin Townsend for a Progressive Math Metal feel.
Deeper in, “Narcissist” is brutal as Bacon runs circles around listeners with a bevy of bodacious riffs relentlessly swirling and “Purity” is a sweeping serenade but still a stomper and easily the most accessible ditty on here. Save for “Aurora” with Targett opening up into Lisa Gerrard-like otherworldly ethereal musings before the mayhem begins yet again. On the other end of the spectrum, “Lazarus” is all pounding polyrhythmic pulsations and prickly through to the last note. And on this album ending track, Targett is vicious, Bacon’s guitar bludeons are sick, and Willem Mason-Geraghty’s pointed percussive attacks sync so well with Harper’s bass quakes for one final act to solidify how much Vexed is beyond reproach.
Culling Culture is coming on May 21st through Napalm Records. Pre-orders are up now and can be checked out when you head here or here. For the latest on Vexed, follow them through their socials when you click here, here, or here.