It takes more than a global pandemic and a lockdown to stop a band like Hex A.D.! Instead of going into hibernation and disappearing, they were well into writing and recording new songs only a few weeks after the release of last album Astro Tongue in the Electric Garden last February. As singer and guitarist Rick Hagan says: “It was easy to see how this whole thing would affect the music business, and we just went straight into this new project instead of hoping for a possible gig or two. Actually it was great to be able to focus all my attention on this new record and not have to worry about playing live while recording it.”
Musically this new album is a darker and deeper ride than the other records in the band’s catalogue. In addition to that, Funeral Tango for Gods & Men has turned out to be the band’s most varied work to date. Listeners may be surprised to discover Eagles inspired guitar and vocal harmonies; old school blues riffs and catchy hooks combined with the band’s ever present trademarks such as big epic passages, doomy riffs, vivid storytelling and mysterious atmospheres!
“This record includes my most personal and honest lyrics to date,” says singer and lyricist Hagan. “I love to write about horror movies and creepy stuff, and I have gone there on a few songs this time too, but I have for the first time included deeper and more personal themed lyrics.”
The band’s unofficial fifth member Rowan Robertson, of Dio-fame, contributes to two of the albums tracks. His leads are again a testimony to his outstanding abilities as a solo guitarist, and his melodic and creative solos on the songs Hell Hath No Fury and All the Rage show the same qualities that landed him the job that made him famous back in 1989. The keen listener might be able to pick up a tip of the old hat to Blackmore, Beck and Gilmour in these amazing moments of world class fretwork.
Rowan is not the only guest guitarist to add to this layered piece of work. Norway’s definitive guitar hero and hard rock icon Ronni Le Tekrø pushes the album’s closer Positively Draconian right over the edge with his classic and unmistakable runs. His artistic flare fits right in with Hex A.D.’s rather grand sound, and it is not by coincidence that he plays on the last track on the album.
All in all Funeral Tango for Gods & Men is the undaunted work by a band that’s getting bolder and bolder with every release, a band that dares to use a familiar language to tell untold classic stories.
Funeral Tango for Gods & Men releases on October 22nd.