without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
I prefer some mystery in my metal; music is always more compelling when its lineage is not immediately obvious. On their sophomore release, Vex inject strands of traditional metal minutiae into the desolation of extremity, constructing an enigma of limitless vision. Memorious traverses planes of phantasmagorical death, pulling pieces of Primordial’s puzzle and adjoining them to the boundless reverie of bands like Fen, Stargazer, or Misery’s Omen. A commanding and charismatic vocal performance ensures total triumph; Vex never once live up to their name.
Memorious metes out some of the same beguiling, baroque intricacy that marked Obsequaie’s tremendous debut. Gorgeous riffs flow effortlessly into composition vortices and victorious vapor trails. Exceptional solos, segues, and accents wield melody with razor-edged precision. You might say Vex employ “folk” elements, but I despise the term’s ubiquity; Memorious belies any sense of time, place, or cultural reference (the band are, incidentally, from Texas).
These songs are built upon vast dynamics and varying rhythm, rolling along on waves of exemplary drumming. Clean guitars are broken out to stomp in fireside circles, forming the base for whirling astral excursions.
A tremendous amount of thought has gone into the lyrics and conceptual carapace. Esoteric missives on doubt, determination, desolation, and dejection are conveyed via stately growls. Clean vocals make brief and striking appearances in a voice recalling David Gold or perhaps a young Jonas Renske.
Memorious is an immensely satisfying experience; I expect it to remain so throughout the year. I’m reminded of the glorious groundless artifice of middle-era Enslaved (there’s more than a little Mardraum in this music). Vex offer a fresh perspective on our metal ancestry and its continued relevance; don’t miss out on genuine progress.
Originally published here.