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Track By Tracks: Hex A.D. - Funeral Tango For Gods & Men (2021)


1. Naadegave:

This short instrumental is a way of presenting a certain mood. This album has a bigness to it and we wanted to grab the listener with an immediate piece that has an essence of the overall feel of the record, - big rooms, big drums, church organ etc. The tail end of it changes key from B to E, and is a nod to one of our favourite Pink Floyd songs while playing the main riff from the following track.

2. Seven Blades:

Thin Lizzy meets Sin after Sin-era Judas Priest and The Omen… that sums it up really. The lyrics are clearly about Damien and The Omen. Classic horror films have always been a huge inspiration. I remember doing the demo for this track all by myself and working on different vocal melodies. I think I had three sets of lyrics with different melodies by the end, and of course, none of them worked particularly well. I decided to start from scratch and looked to my favourite Priest records for inspiration – not that I can sing like Rob – trust me, I can’t, but his phrasing and placing of vowels have helped me get out of a rut before. Once I had the “Charging up a hellfire…” line in place I felt like I had something strong to build on.

3. Got the Devil by the tail:

This bluesy song owes a lot to Sabbath’s Seventh Star record and the first three Jethro Tull albums. It was written with a quicker tempo in mind, but while recording the drums we tried different angles and decided to try it reeeeaaaally slow. We got such a massive kick out of playing it slowly that we decided to keep it that way. For the outro we went back to a quicker tempo and had a bit of fun during the mixing when we recorded the whole thing onto a 4 track tape recorder and then recorded that back onto the master tape.

I had a bit of a hard time improvising a solo over what I consider to be one of my strongest riffs to date, but I went home, did my homework and nailed it the following day in one take. For that solo I went all out Iommi with the gear – SG, Parachute wah, Laney TI 100 top and cab. On the last bend that crisp Laney drive makes the notes scream.

4. One Day of Wrath, another Gesture of Faith:

This song was written while Matt and I were jamming on ideas I had written for an epic track in E minor. We have two different demos of it that both sound very much like the album track but with one particular riff in another place, so looking back I can easily hear that my vision for the track was kept and only refined in the studio. I love the intro with the Rhodes through a tremolo into a Leslie cab! How classic is that?

The middle section is clearly inspired by Genesis and we gave it an added little nod with both me and Matt playing drums on it.

Lyrically it deals with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We’re not taking sides, but rather reflecting on the solution on how to end the cycle of centuries of hatred being inherited and adopted by the younger generations. No child comes into this world with hate in its heart – it has to be taught!

5. Painting with Panic:

Quite possibly the most intense Hex A.D. track to date. I changed the verse riff on the day of recording the drums. It’s never too late… until it’s too late! It was the track that Matt nailed the quickest. No wonder, as it was the one he was dreading the most! Haha!

I played the solo a couple of times before reaching for my Hendrix Octavio fuzz and the classic Uni Wibe. That gnarly and nasty tone fit perfectly with those weird melodies and bends. I used a sunburst Les Paul Standard for the solo.

6. Hell hath no Fury:

Obviously where my heart is at when I’m at my most honest. This track is a way for me to keep my favourite music alive. Anyone familiar with my favourite band will catch this heart-on-the-sleeve tribute at first listen. I had a hard time getting the right feel when tracking the voices for the chorus and had to push myself for weeks until I was happy with it, but listening back I quite enjoy it actually.

Our unofficial 5th member Rowan Robertson and I traded guitar solos back and forth a couple of times before landing on the final version. I tend to map out my solos a bit and am quite comfortable with strange key-changes mid-riff. Rowan has that irresistible classic tone that takes any track into those familiar and epic landscapes. His contribution to this track is beyond my wildest imagination.

7. All the Rage:

This song is possibly our most “metal” track since the debut. We wanted to keep it hard and intense and reading The Crucible at the time was seminal to the lyrical content.

The vocals in the verses were done in one take while adjusting the gain and tape delay. I never managed to recreate the feel of that initial take and we decided to keep it and adjust the mix of the track to fit the raw vocal sound. I had quite a bit of fun creating the strange voices in the middle section. A lot of whispering going on there!! Haha

I encouraged Rowan to use a slide for the first solo, and he went into a Blackmore-ish melody straight away – I remember shouting over the phone: “THAT’S IT! DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING!! THAT’S BLOODY IT MATE”.

He had a couple of different versions of the second half, but we all loved the jazzy feel of the one we ended up using! Great stuff

8. Positively Draconian:

The Grande Finale! This is the only real track where I play the drums on this album. From the start I had a clear vision of the final song, but trying to explain and work on a track with the whole band where quiet bits, tempo changes etc. are plenty is very hard. I constructed this track with a click track and a pilot guitar in the studio after all the other tracks were done.

The grand piano and church organ were recorded in a church near to where I live. The minister and cantor are great guys and let use their fantastic church room and instruments one night. We miced the whole hall and got the most amazing natural reverb for the grand piano part. I get goose bumps just thinking about it. It was magic when Mags played that intro in that room, and I’m glad to say that it comes through on the final track as well. The ending is obviously a total guitar-bonanza with myself doing two leads before the eminent Ronni Le Tekrö comes in at the end. We are all massive TNT fans, and Ronni has become a friend over the years. His performance is a true testament to his status as one of hard rock’s finest guitar players. He’s a true artist in every sense of the word.

1 comentario:

  1. I've heard this one, and all I can say is that it's well worth waiting for

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