By Ulla Roschat. In the year 1908 in the Siberian taiga near the Stony Tunguska River a huge explosion destroyed a vast area of forest land. The cause for the explosion which is known as The Tunguska event isn't completely clarified to this day. Was it a mid-air disruption of a superbolide, volcanic activity, an alien spaceship?By Ulla Roschat
In the year 1908 in the Siberian taiga near the Stony Tunguska River a huge explosion destroyed a vast area of forest land. The cause for the explosion which is known as The Tunguska event isn't completely clarified to this day. Was it a mid-air disruption of a superbolide, volcanic activity, an alien spaceship? .. Or was it possibly Hexxus, the demonic evil character of the FernGully movie, the destructor of forest who feeds off human pollution such as smoke, slime and sludge, the shapeless black apparition, the toxic blob, constantly morphing and oozing an oil like substance?
I don't know, if the name of the three piece band from Alabama refers to this character, or the title of their debut album to the Tunguska event, what I do know is that it sounds like exactly that... an evil destructive hateful demon, vandalizing and burning the forest, occasional explosions included, killing all nature's life, fueled by human poison.
Hexxus'(the band's) weapon is five songs of southern Sludge Doom infused with Post Metal elements.
The opening song "Andromeda" starts off droning, heavy and slow and then excellently builds up a deeply textured wall of thundering sound. Different layers added one by one with a great sense of creating suspense and progression, and the song merges from the slow burning southern vibe into a Post Metal, almost shoegazey feel, easily. The song sets the basic tone and mood for the album, still each song has its own distinct character.
All three members contribute their vocals and it works very well, but in the second song "The Great Migration" this 'trinity' is pure bliss. Together with the Post Metal style guitars it creates a dynamic flow, momentum and movement. The guitar leads, though, have a weirdly psychedelic touch, and again, the vocals complement them perfectly.
More weirdness is introduced in "Cross Bearer". A melody, slightly chaotic and hobbling along, builds a wonderful sense of dramatic eerie suspense. And the faster "Extinct is Instinct" shines with a guitar solo that should sound out of place, but somehow does not.
The last song "Tunguska" sounds like Hexxus (the demon) is triumphantly and almost jauntily looking back at what he has accomplished - complete destruction, leaving a wasteland. But halfway through the song his mood changes, he isn't satisfied, he still hungers for more destruction and begins to roam the place. Again here, the vocal trinity is brilliantly used and the most exciting heavy riffs meet melodies of a somber beauty.
Tunguska is oppressively heavy, caustic, evil and abrasive. At the same time it is thoughtfully composed with a progressive attitude, a great variety and multiple layers. It is massive not only by its sound but by the depth of its construction.
And like Hexxus (the demon) I hunger for more of this aural destruction.
The song "The Great Migration" is featured on The Wicked Lady Show 123.