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HeKz - 'Tabula Rasa' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/67/99/61/2844_Hekztabularasa_1350318820.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 15, 2012    
 
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A complex album with mature themes, musically and lyrically.

HeKz is a new and young progressive metal band hailing from Bedford, England. The band comprises Matt Young on vocals and bass, Al Beverage and Tom Smith on guitars with Kirk Brandham on drumming duties. The band members have financed ´Tabula Rasa´ themselves and are clearly following a template laid out by bands such as Iron Maiden and Dream Theater. Considering their lack of experience, the band has pulled off this hard feat of producing a complex album with mature themes, musically and lyrically.

The guitars pack a punch as well and interesting soloing takes place throughout, most noticeably on ´Bring The Fire´. Songs such ´As Rome Burns´ and ´Vendetta´ show a great homage to the Irons themselves and of course to the great Ronnie James Dio. Vocalist Matt Young has taken on the mantle of singing these songs which have bombast and are very stretching from a technical point of view. He deserves great credit and he has planted his stamp on the album with his grandiose style. The drumming is full on and has memorable staccato passages on songs such as ´Darkness Visible´ and ´Seize The Day´; each live set must be an exhausting time for Brandham.

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The centrepiece of the album is ´City of Lost Children´, a ten minute plus epic with a slow half spoken intro (think Iron Maiden´s ´Hallowed Be thy Name´). The band has constructed this song well and it picks up pace seamlessly and the inevitable crashing guitars come in at just the right time. The final track, ´Don´t Turn Back´ is another ten minute epic, this time more upbeat with a resonating and catchy dual guitar riff. In retrospect, the most commercial song on the album is ´As Rome Burns´ with an organ and guitar intro and a less intense feel to the song.

Listening to the album as whole, it is clear that HeKz take their music very seriously indeed; the lyrics have been painstakingly written and the songs are played and sung with conviction. The band is touring the UK this Autumn and based on this album are certainly worth a viewing.

Rob McKenzie

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