Jex Thoth ‎– Jex Thoth - Gatefold -LP


What was known as Totem became Jex Thoth, and is now offering the retroistic world of doom and gloom with a very open-minded and an atmospheric release. The eerie opening passages of the record lead us down the path to the revered and plentiful creative stream of the seventies.

Progressive and bluesy tendencies of such acts as Blue Cheer, Curved Air are brought to one's mind. There are even spatial but acidic reminders of King Crimson, at best very modest, though.
Jex Thoth belongs roughly to the pack formed by Witchcraft, Burning Saviours, sharing the same retroistic approach and reverence towards the decade of Sabbath. In the modern scheme, the soundscapes this debut album utilizes, resemble those of Witchcult Today of the mighty Electric Wizard.

This is not music of ultimate, crushing heaviness. I would argue if it were a metal record in the purest sense at all. For a doomster expecting old school in the vein of Pentagram and Sabbath, stoner-vibed fuzz of EW, it should be a contrary experience. Unlike Witchcraft or Burning Saviours, Jex Thoth are not as creatively void and don't borrow as outrageously from their forefathers.

It is music heavily laden with emotion, with an atmosphere that is gloomy for sure. Yet there is a more light-weight, hopeful even, feeling brought about not the least due to Jex's powerful and very emotional vocals. Instrumentation of the band, guitar and bass most prominently maintains a laid-back, folkish approach throughout the slab and rarely embark on a riff mayhem that could come close to being outright metal.

Album's opener, Nothing Left To Die, is very eerie and powerful in setting the mood for the ride. Even for heavier and more depressing numbers, such as The Banishment and the closer, Stone Evil (which was featured also on the split with Pagan Altar), Jex Thoth remains very much afloat, and don't dirge at all. The band as a whole peaks in performance on the shorter numbers, Obsidian Night and Seperated At Birth. The vocals are up the ante, and the guitar is delivering very Electric Wizard-esque fuzz here for us.

What is to be said of drumming and rhythm section, is that it is the stable yet flexible foundation where Jex's vocals and Paine's and Jim's guitars are well set. The band has a very warm sound and an emotive stance on their performance.

If the retro-drenched approach to things is not your piece of the pie, don't be let down. This is the Witchcult Today approach to things. Traditional, relevant and mind-blowing. This goes straight to top notch of 2008 releases so far, and is one of the best debut efforts.