Jex Thoth – Blood Moon Rise (I Hate Records, 2013)

Jex Thoth - Blood Moon Rise (I Hate Records, 2013)Jex Thoth remains just as mysterious a half dozen years since they first appeared as Totem. Despite being featured in a lengthy rave in Julian Cope’s lavishly bounded Copendium, very little real information about them is revealed other than that they’ve identified Black Sabbath and Amon Düül II as key influences, and Cope describes them as a “rock goddess” backed by “four enormous Yeti trolls of northern Denmark’s icy Skagerrak coast.” Given the fact that they’re on a Swedish label (I Hate Records) and almost exclusively tour Europe, it would be easy to mistake them as a European band. They are in fact American, based sometimes out of Madison, WI. It wasn’t even clear if the band were still together, with bandleader and singer Jex spending time with Sabbath Assembly. In the years since their 2008 self-titled debut, they’ve been a major inspiration for a load of great bands that merge doom metal and psychedelic influences, often with women on lead vocals. By the end of 2012, it seemed like no less than a kind of occult heavy rock renaissance. After 2010’s tantalizing but unsatisfying three song EP Witness, they’ve returned triumphant and better than ever with Blood Moon Rise. While Jex has proven in the past that she can deliver bluesy wails with the best of the Joplin acolytes, on this album her voice is recorded close and intimate to focus more on emotional nuances complimented by the eerie, psychedelic atmosphere. Take “Into A Sleep,” for example. There’s just a simple, repetitive yet foreboding bass line, spare percussion and some decorative guitar that don’t seem like they would add up to much, but ends up as evocative as the best of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds thanks to Jex’s performance. For a band initially identified as doom metal, there’s nothing that’s exceptionally rocking on this album aside from the nicely thudding “The Places You Walk.” But overall it feels plenty heavy due more to mood and arrangements more than brawn. Not surprisingly the most memorable cuts also have the stickiest vocal hooks (“The Divide,” which is introduced by a satisfyingly plodding doom riff), and melodies (“Keep Your Weeds”). After a couple weeks listening though, just about every cut is a winner, definitely one of the most dynamic, varied albums of its kind this year, leaving me wanting more after every play. Now let’s get to it and buy some albums and show they’re appreciated here before they decide to permanently relocate to Scandinavia. | Buy

This entry was posted in New Album(s) of the Week, Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Jex Thoth – Blood Moon Rise (I Hate Records, 2013)

  1. Pingback: Fester’s Lucky 13: 2013 Year-End Summary | Fast 'n' Bulbous

Comments are closed.