Label: Century Media
Hexvessel is a British/Finnish formation founded in the magical forests of Finland, via the green and pleasent lands of England and Ireland. Formed in 2009 by Mat “Kvohst” McNerney (best known as the vocalist of the post-punk act Grave Pleasures), the band has had three albums up to now, with the most recent one being “When We Are Death” released in 2016. Three years have passed and the band finally brought us some magic with the new release “All Tree”. This is also a special one as Mat reunited with his co-songwriter from “Dawnbearer” (2011) , Andrew McIvor. Since Hexvessel has managed to combine different genres and concepts within their own interpretation of the psych/folk/pagan universe, I was especially interested to see which direction “All Tree” would take.
First things first, “All Tree” is nothing like “When We Are Death”, both conceptwise and musically. While “When We Are Death” was an album that felt like love-at-first-sight, “All Tree” is a piece that needs some time to get used to as it is slower and maybe even more spiritual. There is no dancing in the mushroom clouds or that dynamic feeling compared to the previous record but “All Tree” reminds us to maybe take it slow and to just give in to the ritual and to the magic of the folk.
One musical highlight for me has been the magical integration of different instruments like the duduk and the viola. This aspect combined with the ballad-like and the sincere approach of the sound in general definitely makes “All Tree” organic and natural; while listening to this piece, it will feel like you are walking barefoot in nature, meditating, and discovering yourself spiritually…. and believe me, it will be such an amazing feeling!
“All Tree” is more folk-ish and less rock, deeper, and gives off a rather chill vibe. It might be different than the previous records but it is no means an average record. I assure you that the record will get more meaningful and spiritual with each spin and you will find yourself on different spiritual journeys. One of my favs of 2019 and recommended to the ones interested in folk, spirituality and psychedelia.
Highlights: Ancient Astronaut, Wilderness Spirit
Album Line up:
- Mathew Kvohst McNerney – vocals
- Andrew McIvor – acoustic guitars
- Kimmo Helen – piano, keys, viola, bass guitar
- Jukka Rämänen – drums, percussion, bass guitar
- Jesse Heikkinen – lead guitar, acoustic guitars, 12-string guitars
- Antti Haapapuro – sound effects, field recordings, master of ceremonies
- Marja Konttinen – vocals, percussion
- Daniel Pioro – violin
- Dirk Campbell – flutes, düdük
02. Son of the Sky
03. Old Tree
05. Ancient Astronaut
06. Visions of A.O.S.
07. A Sylvan Sign
08. Wilderness Spirit
09. Otherworld Enjoy
11. Journey to Carnac
12. Liminal Night
13. Closing Circles