A lot of people were digging Vex’s 2010 debut album, Thanatopsis but even though there was a buzz in the underground surrounding the Texan’s weird genre-splicing take on death metal Memorious still has the capacity to surprise. Looking at the bare facts is misleading; Horror Pain Gore Death Productions are writing the checks, Vex are being marketed as death metal, all right (even if Memorious’ gray-on-gray cover art is stoically giving little away), so surely there will be riffs that could strip the flesh from your limbs, the typical woo-aaargh(!) baby-eating fare you’d kinda expect from a death metal band. Not really. Right from the get-go Vex throw a curve-ball with the opening chords of “Terra Soar” sounding more Rush than Gorguts— hell, “Terra Soar” is the sort of track title that could even find itself on a Rush album. Even when the track settles into a mid-paced DM sound, it's clear that Vex pay homage to bands like Enslaved, Primordial and Dissection more so than any of the straight-up blast-beat physicality of death metal’s classic canon.
Vex are progressive and melodic, dynamic too, and maybe this is just Monday afternoon's torpor warping our doors of perception but they have a Nordic groove to them that’s sure to resonate with all you blue-collar Vikings out there who like nothing more to wrap a koozie ‘round a genuine drinking horn at the weekend. Memorious doesn’t adhere to genre conventions—just when you think you’ve got it worked out there is the super-melodic “Those Days Are Gone”, clean vocals and all, riffs executed without any palm-muting. Heretics! Oh, don’t worry, it’s all tastefully done; Memorious is kinda 40% blackened, 50% technically death metal and 10% “other”, and courtesy of Horror Pain Gore Death, here it is in full:
**Memorious is released on 5th February on Horror Pain Gore Death Productions—order it here