Hex - "Cursed Chalice" Demo 2010 [8.7/10]

This 5 track black metal album rose from the bloodstained Salvadoran soil in 2010 as the band's first demo, with a 4 members line up, all of them already having some previous musical background, and the assistance of the experienced Julio Rodas in the recording studio this release features a professional sound without compromising the genre's tacit rawness and the their violent approach at it. It was released in Chile by ANDP (Ltd. to 500 copies) and in El Salvador by Tepes Records (Ltd. to 300 copies).

"Invocation (of Fathomless Evil)" introduces the blasting guitar riffs by Eligos which makes the spearhead of Hex's music, with the well-known tremolo picking style he plays sequences you can clearly discern. There are some short scattered melodic sections along the songs and "Poser Slaughtercult" features a short solo that fits fine within the perspective of the album.

Considering the speed Zombie Gore plays at, drums are amazingly consistent and are nicely placed in the mix. Sytri's bass guitar, with little distortion and following the bass drumming as it plays, is not always noticeable but it provides a powerful pounding in the low frequency end.

Vocals are performed by Krieger, mostly with shrieked style with occasional growls that only adds elements to the overall obscure band's ensemble, and this obscurity reaches a peak with "The Sign", featuring growled styled vocals. Lyrics are understandable, and they are carefully crafted in deep malevolence and anger.

Even though the songs feature the classic verse-chorus-verse structure and are a very dynamic yet coherent album, from beginning to end these are straight forward songs that blend well together. It wanders through musical paths already known to many others but the sound of their footsteps is unique in its own way.

I am judging this opus as what it is: a demo record. And, as such, it is an outstanding piece of violence and hate in music that anyone -with the trained ear to recognize it as something valuable- will appreciate it.

A re-issue in CD has been released in 2020 by Vacula Productions (UKR), Co-released with Nebula Forest Productions (SLV) and Macabro Culto Productions (COL).