Release Date: 20th April, 2018
Label: Self Released
Review by Sean
HeKz have finally returned after three years of touring/recording to offer up a contender for album of the year with their latest offering, ‘Invicta’.
What they’ve given us is a damn fine album, with somewhat of a theme to it, but let’s get down into the meat of it all.
Kicking us off is ‘Quetzlcoatl’ (and yes, I copy pasted that). As you’d expect from a prog album, it has weirdness to it almost everywhere. Time signatures, melodies, vocals, it’s all up for grabs, but at this point in time the band are fine tuned enough to make all that work for them. As openers go it’s a good one. It draws you in and at the same time gives you just the tiniest inkling of what you can expect from the rest of the album.
At this point I’m going to differ in how I normally do my reviews and instead talk about the album as a whole. I’m doing this because I’d like to talk a bit more about the band and what they do, musically, and I’d like to do in more of a discussion style than point by point. Before I do though, my standouts are the opener, ‘Line in the Sand’ (which I’ll talk about on its own a bit further on), and ‘The Devil’s Coin’. Those are what I can recommend to get more of a broad spectrum of what the guys are about, but taking the album as a whole, and indeed their sound in general, it’s refreshing to see bands taking on the prog style. There’s precious few out there, and less still that can do it well.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of times when, shall we say simpler? Yeah, simpler. There are a lot of times when you want simpler metal, because it’s easier to digest, talk about, and just enjoy, but when you truly give the time and effort to stuff such as we get form HeKz, it’s like discovering an entire new level of music you didn’t know was there. It’s exciting and fun at the same time, and that’s what these guys bring to the table. It’s music that you can’t really just sit and skip through, you need to devote all of your attention to it, and really take it in.
Not to say there aren’t moments to headbang to, because there are, but it’s when you get to stuff like ‘Line in the Sand’ that you truly appreciate the depth of talent that bands like this have. I know I said you can’t really listen to one track from this album, but do seek ‘Line…’ out. It’s fucking beautiful.
In summary, what we’ve got here, is one of the albums of the year, from one of the UK’s most underrated bands. I can’t recommend them enough.
Get your ears around this album, and chuck the guys some money for it.
02. For Our Lives
03. The Light Fantastic
04. To The Lions
06. Line in the Sand
09. The Devil’s Coin
Visit the band on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HeKztheBand
Get the album here: hekz.bandcamp.com/album/invicta