Hexenklad is a bizarre blend of folk and black metal that just works somehow, like if a Druid and a Paladin did the fusion dance, this band would be their theme music. Don’t get it twisted – Celtic metal is very much a thing I’m aware of but this is in its own category. Think more of bands like Alestorm that take their own approach to a sub genre that’s already well established. Hexenklad blaze their own path by combining straight up black metal with earthly influences (as in natural Earth) into something that is truly their own.

If the rareness of a band who respects the reverie of the natural Earth without coming across as uptight preachy Vegans or something wasn’t enough, the fact this album in itself is legit, just rock solid, should sway even the most cynical of listeners. The opening track “In This Life or the Next” alone shows vocalist Timothy Johnston‘s ability to be brutal yet charismatic; and the harmonious yet heavy opener to “At Dusk”? If you’re not fucking with that then you’re basically just looking to be a hater. “In Waking Times” is a slightly complex jam that exemplifies everything sick about this album. When the keyboardist hits you with that Rico Suave type melody on top of just straight up headbanging riffs and drums you know you hit something legit. Even the outro instrumental “An Offering” has a way of setting the mental pace, like a good ending to a movie or an after credits scene that tops off the hype while building hype for the next installment.

Hexenklad decided to strike out and be something special without trouncing on what works and crafted an excellent album with Spirit of the Stone. It’s heavy, it’s melodic, it’s wholly unique unto itself. Spirit of the Stone is a an album that will earn it’s way into your rotation and you’ll be happy it did.

Tracklist:
1. In This Life or the Next
2. To Whom Veer Sinistral
3 At the Ends of Existence
4. Returned
5. At Dusk
6. In Waking Tymes
7. Path to Ruin
8. An Offering

Lineup:
Timothy Johnston – Vocals
Michael Grund – Guitar
John Chalmers – Guitar
Clare B. – Keyboard
Jon Kal – Bass
Andrew C – Drums

Check out Hexenklad here:
facebook.com/hexenklad/

 

Written by Ken Kaizer for Bloodrock Media on August 4, 2017