Released: 2013, Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Vex's sound lies somewhere between Death and Black Metal, while incorporating elements from Progressive Rock in order to create songs with odd tempo changes, and technical guitar harmonies. While the Texas band's last full length record “Thanatopsis” showed these elements already being mixed, their new record Memorious presents a version of this band that incorporates a more Progressive Rock approach, using clean guitar sections to create ambience within the songs.
Thanks to a cleaner production job than that of “Thanatopsis”, the details that the band have now decided to add to their music on “Memorious” are more evident. Dissonant chords, melodic breaks, and even clean vocals make an appearance on this record.
The band also decided this time around to include three instrumental tracks; these are actually the shortest tracks on the album which serve as bridges between the other (longer) songs.
Opener "Terra Soar" immediately sets the tone for the album: a brief intro using clean guitar chords leads to a heavy, but at the same time very melodic riff.
The guitar harmonies have an almost folky vibe, but as the song goes, these harmonies are either then inverted, or abruptly stopped to make way for other riffs.
The next song "Carve my Eyes" begins with an interesting drum beat which then slows down to a Death Metal stomp, with double pedal breaks. The song then suddenly bursts into a brief blast beat section that then slows down again, making way for some interesting tempo shifts which again find the band toying with both Death Metal and Progressive Rock.
Next comes "Astride a Grave", the first instrumental song on the record: it builds up from a clean guitar section into a spacey melodic riff that blends into the next track, titled "No such Thing". It is interesting to note that here the band go full fledge into the more melodic tendencies of the record, with riffs that may remind listeners of bands like Rush.
That said, though, even with all those melodies, the band still sticks to their Death Metal guns during this song.
It is, however, the next track "Spectral Nation" where the band then starts branching out into other directions: some tribal drumming starts the song, which is then followed by a chorus of clean vocals. The song remains quite still, compared to the previous tracks, as the tempos are kept constant, creating a more atmospheric approach. Though the band eventually include a blast beat section on this song, the vocals are whispered and the song remains weird for the most part.
The second half of the album after "Spectral Nation" shows the band experimenting more than on the previous tracks. "Away from the Sun" is an acoustic instrumental which leads into "Wasteland (How Long Ago ...)", a slower number which like "Spectral Nation", shows the band delving more into elements of Progressive Rock.
"Solace in Sleep" is the album's last instrumental, then comes "Those Days Are Gone", which the aforementioned clean vocals. These are not used during the entire song, just in the middle section, where the band sort of goes into a Uriah Heep-like riff, then the clean vocals come in.
Closer "A Drinking Song" has that Viking Metal vibe to it, and shows the band going back to the Death Metal mixed with Black Metal approach.
Overall a very interesting album to listen to, though some fans may be put off by some areas of the music. The band have made some bold choices on this record, and they do play their musical mix with carefull attention to detail.
While some of the experimentation on the second half of the album may sound a little awkward at times, when it works, the band sounds epic and brutal at the same time.
Review by Titus Isaac