“HEX” by Birdeatsbaby is the most breathtakingly intense, experimental synth-metal track you’ll ever hear. With its unique sense of time, haunting harmonies, and heavy guitar work, it has that intelligent, math-y sound to it, but stays accessible with a few delectable chord choices and an incredibly talented singer. Even still, as you’re listening, you think you’ve heard it all, but every moment comes with its own, intriguing surprise—a half-time breakdown. A sudden switch to screamed vocals. A quick-fire synth riff. There’s no telling what you’ll glean from the experience, but it’ll most likely involve a sense of arresting and genuine awe.
It begins with a swift, low-register synth melody. As the 5/8 time jolts forward, new, ornamental textures pile in. Soon, the vocalist chimes the opening line, enveloped in robotic harmonies. The newfound drumbeat forms a polyrhythm at first, complicating the time even further, but eventually falls into line with the synths. With this satisfying rhythmic merger also comes some deep, chunky, very metal-inspired power chords. It continues this way for a while, lulling us into this false sense of security.
This song never fails to subvert expectations, however. A devilishly modal guitar solo breaks the pattern, which is then overtaken by this chaotically edited vocal interlude. That interlude is then overtaken by a half-time breakdown (rife with guttural screams) which is finally overtaken by an even faster iteration of our familiar intro synth riff.
If you’re in the mood to discover something entirely original, don’t miss out on “HEX.” You’ll be taken aback in the most glorious way.
Written by Alyce Lindberg