Vexes – Imagine What We Could Destroy /// If Only Given Time (Double Album)
Release Date: 17/06/22
Running Time: 108:02
Review by Beth Jones
Hello my dear readers! My, it’s been a while since I actually got time to review an album! But, thanks to Her Majesty QE II being on the throne for rather a long time, we’ve had a couple of extra Bank Holidays here in the UK, and for me that meant the gift of free time!
So, without further ado, let’s see what we have in store from American Alternative Metal band, Vexes. I’ve never come across these guys before, but I do like to explore something a little different. Vexes first appeared on the scene in 2018 with their debut album “Ancient Geometry”, which got the chatter about them started, due to its experimental nature. And, on first listen, it has to be said that this album is deliciously Progressive and experimental. It’s filled with cross rhythms, close harmonies, and dynamic changes, which create an interesting listen.
This behemoth of an album is, according to the press release, not a concept album, but a view of the world in the last 4 years, and how our lives are driven by our obsession with presenting the ‘perfect image’ in the public eye. This bleak, stark, but unfortunately accurate vision is presented here with a feel of being in two halves, emotionally. The first half of the album certainly has an air of confused, anxious calamity about it, which does indeed reflect the ever-more unbalanced world in which we now live.
Musically, I really like the experimentation that is thrown into things. Unusual chord progressions, and the aforementioned rhythmic and dynamic changes litter the album, in a very pleasing way. It’s got a Post-Rock feel to it, which merges beautifully with the almost Grungy guitar riffs. But it is very definitely Metal, I feel, with the crunchiness and chunkiness of the downtuned guitar work throughout making it so.
They use samples effectively to fill out the sound, which ends up being really massive. I now have the privilege of having some spectacular speakers to listen to this on, which is helpful, as this is an album that needs to be listened to loud for full effect!
However, they also dabble delicately with classical instrumentation; atmospheric piano, and I think Double Bass or Cello and violins being used to great effect, particularly in ‘Imagine What We Could Destroy’. This haunting instrumental piece marks the symbolic ‘halfway point’ of the album, centering things after the rollercoaster ride of the first section. This is also the first of a few instrumental pieces.
The second half of the album is not as fractious – it’s almost like a concession and acceptance of the madness that’s all around – a flowing with it, rather than fighting a losing battle against it.
I want to mention the vocals at this point. They are a bit good!! Vocalist, Charlie, has a wonderful lilting, floating voice, which cuts through the engulfing calamitous heaviness of the music beneath it. It makes a really interesting metaphor for life in my opinion. The pace and movement of the daily bedlam, that somehow delivers us moments of clarity, between meetings, or while hiding in the bathroom to escape the madness, even if only briefly.
This is a band who know what their sound is, and considering this is only their sophomore album, that sound is an extremely mature one. They have also self-recorded and produced this album, which is commendable, as the quality of it shows what can be done if you try – other bands, take note!
“What We Could Destroy/// If Only Given Time” is a very pleasing listen, and although it’s long, I implore you to listen to it as a whole entity, because this is how it works best. It’s dark and melancholy, but conversely soothing and relaxing. Maybe that’s because I’m still a Goth at heart and find solace in the depressing! I don’t know, and quite frankly, don’t care! I am a happy Beth – this was a great choice to start me off back into the realms of album reviews.
01. Digital Trust
02. Beyond The Sinking
03. End With Me
04. We Are If We Dare
06. A Darker Motion
07. Gather Your Bones
09. Twisting Of The Points
11. Imagine What We Could Destroy
12. Low Choices
13. Phantom Pain
14. The Symptoms Of Dying
15. Collapse At Limit
16. Energy Vampire(s)
17. In This Destruction
18. The Dream Disease
19. Bleak Machine
20. At Nothing
21. Invisible Shine
23. Away Stars
24. If Only Given Time
Charlie – Guitar and Vocals
John – Guitar
Justin – Drums
Bobby – Bass
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.