Experimental, eclectic and evocatively produced, the latest release from American alternative metal band VEXES has a lot to give.
Ancient Geometry is a fast paced combination of heavy, tremulous guitar riffs smattered over an ever present rock and roll drum beat. It makes for quite a lightly juxtaposed performance that doesn’t appear to align with the title specifically but ultimately is an at times enthralling listen.
As the bands name suggests, there is a deeply exasperated urgency on some of the tracks that springs from a place of high powered metal band energy. The band rises to their current project from the disbanded acts Vessl and A Life Once Lost with skill and experience that mimics a phoenix like recovery to form. The vigor and distinctively wavering harsh tension in front man Charlie Berezansky’s vocal performance resonates through the punchy and powerful opening track ‘Helion’. From the opening screech of guitar feedback to the heavy kick drum, it seems that this album is set to follow a wave of impenetrable metallic sound.
However Ancient Geometry has a surprising progression throughout as it veers into the territory of melodic sound with relative ease. ‘Terra’ has a gentle, dreamier quality paired with intense lyricism that appears to be actively inspired by a personal loss of love. On some level it makes sense then that a classic 80's track exploring heartbreak is also a feature on the album. This addition comes in the form of Tears For Fears' ‘Head over Heels’ which seamlessly cuts a rock and roll edge amongst a track that was definitively of its era. Most traces of synth and melodic piano cord are gone, and in their place are crooning rock infused guitar riffs that glide alongside an echoing, sparingly applied synthesised sound.
Ancient Geometry is undoubtedly an entertaining listen that combines a collection of ideas, impulses and experienced experimental sound. It doesn't feel like VEXES have mastered exactly what they're looking for yet - as there are moments here where Ancient Geometry loses its way in terms of consistency. Regardless of this though, Ancient Geometry is a record that overall is a valiant attempt to delve beyond the sense of heavy symbolism in sound and style.