Hexvessel
All Tree


4.5
superb

Review

by PsychicChris USER (315 Reviews)
February 20th, 2019 | 11 replies


Release Date: 02/15/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A very eclectic and exciting album, boasting a variety of styles and moods that all come together smoothly thanks to a confident presentation and quality arrangements

Following the psych-rock excursions on 2016’s When We Are Death, Hexvessel’s fourth full-length All Tree returns to their pagan folk foundation. It feels like a return to the style of 2011’s Dawnbearer in particular, placing a similar emphasis on brief runtimes and a welcoming Ren Faire atmosphere. However, it stands out for its more vibrant instrumentation and livelier performances, resulting in what may be the group’s densest album to date. Yet somehow it may also be one of their most accessible.

Hexvessel has always employed a variety of instruments, but All Tree sees them expand to even greater extents. The compositions seem more layered than before as even the most straightforward acoustic ballads feature intermingling rhythms and flourishes while the inclusion of a second vocalist allows for more developed melodies and pleasant harmonies. Such arrangements would seem overstuffed in lesser hands, but the songs know how to make them work and the warm production job helps everything sound bright and breezy.

The songwriting is also quite varied despite consistently keeping to a minstrel aesthetic. Most of the songs are acoustic folk tunes that each settle into a particular mood as songs like “Son of the Sky” is driven by upbeat whimsy while “A Sylvan Sign” takes a slow, tranquil approach that may give one flashbacks to the first half of “Stairway to Heaven.” In addition, “Wilderness Spirit” also stands out for its sea shanty style and there are even psychedelic remnants found in the slow burn blues of “Birthmark” and the carnival waltz on “Luminal Night.” I also appreciate the appropriately titled “Closing Circles” for its somber ritualistic piano buildup.

While 2012’s No Holier Temple may still be Hexvessel’s strongest outing, I can’t help but love All Tree for its unabashed positivity. It’s a very eclectic and exciting album, boasting a variety of styles and moods that all come together smoothly thanks to a confident presentation and quality arrangements. If you ever enjoyed Rush and Zeppelin’s acoustic musings or Jethro Tull’s minstrel era, then All Tree and Hexvessel’s other efforts come strongly recommended.

Highlights:
“Son of the Sky”
“A Sylvan Sign”
“Wilderness Spirit”
“Birthmark”
“Closing Circles”

Originally published at http://indymetalvault.com



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user ratings (26)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 21st 2019


10120 Comments


Not too bad of a review, seems to be an effective summary. Wish there was some more meat on the bones, but the message is conveyed. Not exactly sure if this is something I'd enjoy or not, might keep it in the back of my head.

DungeonBoy
February 21st 2019


6779 Comments


Nice review dude! I've listened to some of their previous albums, and just listened to Old Tree and Son of the Sky from this since they are available on Youtube. I enjoyed Son of the Sky more, and look forward to checking out the entire thing at some point. Nice and folky.

Here's a link for Son of the Sky for anyone wanting to check this out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKG3wx2_XM0

Digging: Weeping Sores - False Confession

Atari
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2019


25020 Comments


this is a really nice surprise

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
February 21st 2019


10652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

if hexvessel are going back towards their dawnbreaker-no holier temple period then im all fuckin for it

CaptainDooRight
February 21st 2019


4122 Comments


Will check son

Digging: Creeping Death - Wretched Illusions

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2019


11741 Comments


Need to check this

Digging: Blue Oyster Cult - Spectres

CaptainDooRight
February 22nd 2019


4122 Comments


This was just ok imo

Nothing I would play again tbh

Gallantin
February 22nd 2019


533 Comments


Glad they're going back from their style on When We Are Death, because that album was awful. Excited to hear this.

butt.
February 22nd 2019


5182 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pretty interesting stuff, I like the pagan-folk feel of this. Any other similar bands I should check if I like this?

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
February 22nd 2019


10652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The only thing I know is Winterfylleth's last album, but it's different. Hexvessel just have a weird psychedelic 70s vibe mixed with the eurofolk

DungeonBoy
February 22nd 2019


6779 Comments


@buttboy check this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK7YFRmFdOM



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