[colored_box color=”grey”]Rating: 6
Label: I Hate
Website: Link
Author: Achilles Pantogyios[/colored_box]

One of the most anticipated releases of 2013, Jex Thoth’s second full length album, is out there! The female fronted band which had managed to shock the underground occult rock circles with their self titled debut returns after 5 years, hoping to land a streak of successful releases.

First things first, if what attracted you in Jex Thoth was the psychedelic aura hovering about almost each and every song, then you are bound to be disappointed. In “Blood Moon Rise”, Jex Thoth dips the scales in favor of the doom element alone (with the exception of “The Places You Walk” and “Ehja”). Every song is a slow, as heavy as their sound allows them, doom tale. The psychedelic aura has been replaced by a feeling of inner soul search flowing through every song. Pressing myself to describe the sound they adopt in this album, I would say that this is what it would be like if the thoughts you have before you fall asleep could be transformed into music. Imagine all this maze of negative feelings, the questions and doubts given form in notes. It is really melancholic, and really ambient. These are the exact words I would also use to describe Jex’s voice. Her voice lingers like a vulture above every slow and heavy riff, she stresses her vocal lines as much as she can giving the sensation of a dream or a distant thought.

However, the upsides of this album rapidly become its downsides as well. This is neither what was expected from Jex Thoth nor a display of their true abilities as musicians. In their debut, their splits and EPs they had shown clearly that they are a band capable of something greater. There was innovation in their songs, passion, mindblowing melodies and riffs, something extra in general, separating them from many upcoming or already famous bands of the same genre. Yet now, with “Blood Moon Rise” I feel they have somehow fallen in stasis, that it is a release taking them many steps back. Of course, when a band feels the need to express a certain feeling it is absolutely respected and rightful to do so (look at Metallica with the hideous “St Anger” for example”). However, this style of songwriting suddenly becomes repetitive, dull and the sensation of darkness it gives on the beginning gradually fades away. Most of the album seems like a struggle for the birth of something special, something portraying the true capabilities of Jex Thoth. However, that “something” never comes and the hungry listener becomes disappointed.

In conclusion, for the sake of introspection, the element of psychedelia and the more “rock and roll” moments Jex Thoth offered in their past releases have been sacrificed. I am not saying that this disk is not worth a listen or two. After all “The PlacesYou Walk” is a splendid song and “Psyar” a great mind travelling, ambient track. However, this more of a heavy doom approach is not quite befitting for Jex Thoth. If they intend to hang on to it they better work on it some more, or else I suggest a swift return to the old days…

Track List Line Up
01. To bury
02. The places you walk
03. The divide
04. Into a sleep
05. And the river ran dry
06. Keep your weeds
07. Ehja
08. The four of us are dying
09. Psyar
Jex – Vocals, Keyboards
Matt Jacobs – Guitars
Brandon Newhouse – Guitars
Nick Ray Johnson – Drums
Danny Gonzalez – Bass