Hex by ToundraRelease date: January 14, 2022
Label: InsideOut Music
Hex is like a play being brought to life in two acts. One is the 22-minute three-part suite ‘El Odio’, and the second in mini story arcs. The opening track begins with a droning structure between David ‘Macon’ López and Esteban Girón. The two of them walk on this dangerous tightrope and reveal darker images that has been shown throughout 2021. There are strong elements between The Mute Gods, Mogwai, Russian Circles, and Violent Femmes
From the moment the bomb explodes in front of our eyes, Pérez’s drumming comes at you in a full-scale assault. The band bring out the heavy ammunition to reign blood around the entire nation channeling Sonar’s arrangements, conducted by David Torn.
The second part becomes the galloping ride into the sunset as Toundra are in this spaghetti western, directed by Sergio Leone, and Ennio Morricone handling the arrangements. There are some militant vibes that are on this second part of ‘El Odio’.
And it’s quite a start before they enter the psychotic realm. It startled me at first, but man, both López and Girón lead the charge with Perez’s pounding bass drum with some hammering metallic riffs that’ll shiver down your spine like a wolverine who has a blood-thirsty taste of human flesh! But once you get to the third and final section of the suite, that’s where it becomes this combination between David Bowie’s Blackstar and Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
It starts with a guitar sending a distress signal in the style of Ben Monder’s textures on ‘Lazarus’ before temperature levels go up for a light-speed adventure home. ‘Ruinas’ go into this dystopian wasteland that Toundra envisions with heavy guitar, bass, and drums. While it does have some post-rock attitude, it can leave with unbelievable results
There are heart-pounding beats that can erupt out of nowhere. And as Pérez leads the charge pounds like crazy. And believe me, he can pound the shit out of those snare drums. He’s so damn good, he can knock Tommy Lee out of the ballpark like no other.
‘La Larga Marcha’ takes you into the heart of the jungle. Between Tocados and Pérez, they add more intensive heat measures to capture the search for the missing temple. You have these sudden textures of Violent Femmes ‘Color Me Once’ and Russian Circles coming together as one.
‘Watt’ is a dark waltz. This was an unexpected track for Toundra to go into this calming turned battle-cry to begin. Like the season finale for the acclaimed Netflix animated series Arcane: League of Legends, they add more fuel to the fire to bring the nightmare to life. You have the guitar duo going from lead and chord sections setting up the war to begin.
As hell has arrived in the city of Piltover, it becomes a bloody scene. But then the rainfall happens to give it a relaxation during the storm for its last dance until the curtain falls. ‘FIN’ brings everything to a haunting end. It becomes the closing book where the members bring out the steel factories and acoustic arrangements by letting listeners know that while the war is far from over, the next story has only just begin.
Hex is quite a exhilarating ride of their last album, Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari. Here, they bring the ominous structures to life for 2022. And surprisingly, Toundra brought those nightmares for listeners to envision in front of our very eyes.