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Live / stage review

Hexis, 16 August, Mulberry Tavern

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A lot has been said online about the obscene length of Hexis' current European tour, comprised of 111 shows in 109 days with no days off; a schedule so packed that they've had to shrink the text on the tour poster down to an almost unreadable size.

But tonight at the Mulberry Tavern, you wouldn't know that the young Danish-Italian band are 24 days into this relentless itinerary. Their sheer sonic power and unstoppable physical energy is especially impressive given that it is witnessed by all of ten people and a barman.

The main support act for this miniature UK leg of the tour, Switzerland's Zatokrev, provide a solid set of slightly psychedelic but satisfyingly weighty, noise-laden post metal. This concludes with their vocalist-guitarist upending a mic stand, forcing himself to sing half a song lying on the floor. Yet it's when Hexis turn off all the lights and set up their free-standing lighting rig behind the kit that things really step up a notch.

The drummer [...] is on fire

Within one song, the band's vocalist is prowling around off-stage at floor level, throwing his entire body into spine-testing bangs of his head to match the crushing waves of violent hardcore and metal riffs coming from his three equally energetic bandmates. The drummer in particular is on fire, hands and feet moving at impossible speeds one moment, before slowing to glacial beatdowns to allow the ugliest of riffs to crawl out and flay the crowd in spite.

While a handful of people in an empty rock bar basement might feel like a step down from the huge Brutal Assault Festival crowd Hexis played to in the Czech Republic a week earlier, those of us who did venture out are left blinded, aurally savaged, and all the better for it.

Richard Spencer

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