8,9/10 French Review

View original article:

Google Translated to English:

Hex A.D. - Progressive Doom Metal - Norway

Astro Tongue in the Electric Garden - 2020

Fresh Tea Records

8.9 / 10

My pronounced taste for musical mixes makes me discover things that are sometimes quite loose or even disjointed and I find my account fairly regularly in the growing flow of the international Metallic pool. This sound research made me discover the Norwegian band Hex A.D. in 2016 with his second album. Curiously, the group released a third in 2018 and I completely missed it. I am adjusting this year with the release of Astro Tongue in the Electric Garden.

I can't find anything really new on this album, Hex A.D. continues to rock us riffs from the 70s with a Candlemass Doom sauce. Except that this time, the Hard Rock trip of the 70s is even more present than on the second album, maybe the group had taken this step with the previous album, it will be up to me to find out. So, composition level, it’s very similar to what I know, the band bases its music on the slowness and the massive use of keyboards with heavy guitars and a solid rhythm. The Progressive part is still there, we are served with sound elements typical of the large groups from the first wave of Progressive Rock.

The musicians performing on this album are of high caliber, the majority have already played either with Paul Dianno or Blaze Bailey when it is not downright both, the level of execution is very high and the members of Hex AD have nothing to envy anyone. However, the vocals have changed a bit, the singer plays in more conventional registers like Ian Gillan or Robert Plant, I preferred the more Gothic style of the second album.

The arrangements are once again up to par, we walk between pure and hard Hard Rock, we come back to the classic Doom in Black Sabbath while venturing into psychedelic sound contexts filled with musical textures rich in various sounds. We like to arrange certain keyboard parts to the J.S. Bach method here and there which is reminiscent of some pioneer groups of English Progressive. In short, we put the emphasis on the grandiose and it's excellent!

I was a little disappointed with the production which was made in the manner of the first Black Sabbath albums: A deaf and grainy sound which annoys me a little over the album. I would have liked a clearer and more fluid production like on The Last Nail in the Coffin Lid.

Astro Tongue in the Electric Garden is an excellent album for those who like the sounds of the early Progressive era, I like everything despite some weaknesses in terms of production and voice but we can easily leave that aside by focusing on the sounds that assail us from everywhere. I recommend this album to Prog fans of the good old days.

Composition: 9

Execution: 9

Arrangements: 9

Production: 8.5

General appreciation: 9