Mixhell – [Album]

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The first, most obvious thing that both Mixhell and its debut album prove beyond the shadow of a doubt is that life can be full of surprises. Don't think so? Well, who could have expected that former Sepultura drummer Iggor Cavalera would just spontaneously decide to quit the band one day? Not only that, who would have seen it coming that whatever he did next would be an electronica outfit? For a lot of metalheads (and – let's be honest – pretty much everyone else too), the logic behind that decision-making process defies comprehension – but it is what it is, and now we have Spaces to prove it happened.

Even knowing that Spaces has its foundations in electronic music won't prepare listeners for what they're hit with as blasts of searing synths unload to open “Antigalactic,” the album's first track. While very clearly and not surprisingly centered on the beat (no shock there, the record was made by a drummer), listeners will be surprised by what they hear on this album because of the immediate jump away from what anyone would expect from a former member of a metal institution like Sepultura. Drums are the driving force for Spaces and are responsible for most of the movement in it, but it is synthesizers – not remarkable works of guitar – which constitute the lifeblood of the album. Songs Like “Antigalactic,” “Exit Wound,” “The Edge” and “Once Again” all owe more to vintage New Wave musicians like Depeche Mode and Devo and programmers like Money Mark, Tom Jenkinson and Fatboy Slim than anything which could be called metallic so, while those unfamiliar would assume they know exactly what they're walking into, they're going to have to shift gears pretty quickly if they don't want to choke on their own tongues as they listen. The departure from what fans of Sepultura might expect is pretty significant.

Because of the size of the jump that Spaces requires metalheads to make, there's no doubt that Mixhell will be met with a mixed reception. Some more open-minded listeners may discover that, while not at all the sort of thing they usually listen to, Mixhell's debut is a pretty unique and enjoyable experience – but there's also no question that it won't be for everyone. In fact, some metalheads will scream bloody murder and assume that Cavalera has completely taken leave of his senses for releasing this album. Either way, there's no denying that both Mixhell and Spaces are two of the biggest surprises to hit music so far this year.



Spaces is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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