Released: 2007, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Probably one of the most talented, new Thrash Metal bands, HeXeN are back - having recorded their brand-new 4-song demo, CINDERS OF ZARATHUSTRA at the end of May for promotional purposes mainly. HeXeN´s previous demo, titled FROM CRADLE TO THE CHAMBER (2006), showed already its powerful muscles for some well-executed and wonderfully addictive Thrash Metal compositions which was also cheerfully welcomed amongst the thrash fans around the world.
As for some background info for the CINDERS OF ZARATHUSTRA demo, this particular demo in question also introduces Carlos Cruz as the latest addition to HeXeN´s line-up. Drummer Greg Maskudyan had to step aside from the band due to personal reasons, so Carlos Cruz who also happened to be a close friend to Artak Araya (one of the two guitarists in HeXeN), was recruited into HeXeN within short notice.
I don´t know to what extent Carlos has actually brought his own ideas into HeXeN, but he has obviously done some good for the band. I mean, if one certain band comes to mind when listening to the songs off the CINDERS... demo, then it must be Coroner, one of my very favorite Thrash Metal bands of all times. HeXeN have the same progressive elements on their latest offering (two of the songs, "Bedlam Walls" and "Heal a Million... Kill a Million", are actually re-makes from their rare debut album HEAL A MILLION...) which Coroner have become known for on their albums. The guitars´ sound has the same crispness and technicality as Coroner´s, the song structures have nearly the same progressive yet easy flow that can be found on Coroner´s albums, guitar leads are clever and overall well-made - and even HeXeN´s vocalist Andre has this certain, very familiar tone in his voice that occasionally even tends to remind me of Coroner´s Ron Royce´s vocals in a great way. Similarities to Coroner´s stuff are definitely there, but with HeXeN´s case, it´s a definite plus for them. And when HeXeN even decided to cover a Coroner song "R.I.P./Masked Jackal" on this very demo, I suppose none of the aforementioned facts should leave any questions open about HeXeN´s main inspirations for the CINDERS OF ZARATHUSTRA demo.
I cannot do anything but admire HeXeN´s splendid musicianship that they so clearly possess in the band these days. If I was the owner of a record label, I would sign this fantastic and talented Thrash Metal band without any second thoughts - not a slightest doubt of that. HeXeN simply screams to get signed by all its blood-red, alarming lights on.