Thrash outfit from California, USA!

State of Insurgency Hexen - State of Insurgency (Old School Metal Records) 2008

1.    Blast Radius (4:08)
2.    Gas Chamber (4:10)
3.    Past Life (5:14)
4.    Knee Deep in the Dead (4:01)
5.    Chaos Aggressor (5:09)
6.    Bedlam Walls (3:59)
7.    The Serpent (3:19)
8.    No More Color (3:33)
9.    Mutiny and Betrayal (4:49)
10.    Seditions In Peacetime (5:37)
11.    Desolate Horizons [instrumental] (5:04)    
12.    State of Insurgency (5:05)
13.    Outro [instrumental] (1:56)

State of Insurgency is the second CD release for California thrashers Hexen. Their first was an independent CD titled, "Heal A Million...Kill A Million". Of the eight tracks featured on that album, five were re-recorded for this, their first album to be released on a proper record label. Hexen are another in the growing number of bands playing classic thrash metal. As such, reviews are mixed with many claiming they are "unoriginal". Frankly, originality is not the point. Rather, bands like Hexen are concerned with playing the style of music they enjoy and doing it well. Don't expect any experimentations with death metal or other metal genres in an attempt to sound original, like many other bands are doing. There are no female backing vocals or orchestras here either. Rather, State of Insurgency is a full speed, thrash metal assault. Nothing more, nothing less.

The songs overall are fast, heavy and features some smokin’ guitar solos from guitarist Ronny Dorian. His solo work is actually one of the highlights of this album. I detect a slight punk edge to Hexen. Of course, thrash metal has always been that mixture of heavy metal and punk speed, but some bands like Nuclear Assault, Municipal Waste, Hirax and Hexen show slightly more punk influence than bands like Exodus or Kreator. However, Hexen are not completely one sided. There are a few surprised here. Desolate Horizons is a melancholy instrumental complete with some Spanish-influenced acoustic guitar leads. This song shows a different side to the band, steering clear of the machine gun riffing and manic speed of much of the rest of the album.  This instrumental actually features drummer Carlos Cruz on acoustic guitar. The album’s haunting, acoustic outro is also an interesting break from the full throttle thrash.

"State of Insurgency" is a solid thrash metal album from a promising new band. I might now have to see if I can dig up a copy of "Heal A Million".

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