Doom purveyors are piling it on early in the year, making an early run to grab the 'best sub-genre of 2020' award. First there was the monumental self-titled debut by Moonstone, then there was the thundering Blood of the Night by Yatra ... and now we have progressive doomsters Hex A.D. adding to the embarrassment of riches in the tragic musical form with their fourth full length, Astro Tongue in the Electric Garden.
Kicking off with a short flamenco guitar instrumental, Hex A.D. then go straight into Candlemass territory with 'Deadly Nightshade', an up-beat riff supported by clean vocal forebodings and some interesting backing keyboards. Then things turn a little proggy with 'Astro Tongue', coming across like Deep Purple toying with the idea of becoming a doom band. Very cool indeed.
Four of the next five tracks then enter into epic territory, each exceeding the seven minute mark, one lasting over nine minutes. It is here where Astro Tongue in the Electric Garden really takes off. It's hard to describe the strength of song that comes across in this section, the listener taken on a musical journey jam packed with amazing riffs, swirling keys and memorable choruses that forces you to sit back and take it all in. What a friggin' glorious listening experience.
It's impossible picking fave tracks here, as the album comes across as one lovingly crafted, elongated piece of work begging to be listened to in full. Prog heaven for doom aficionados here.