They smashed a giant-sized hole in the heavy music scene, with their beautifully brutal debut album Ancient Geometry back in 2018 and now New Jersey based four piece Vexes are back with a whole host of head wrecking songs, so much in fact, they’ve made it a double album. Imagine What We Could Destroy /// If Only Given Time, carries on much where Ancient Geometry left off, only during this time they’ve witnessed the worst aspects of the human race, as well as the intense effect social media has had on the world and the loss of basic human values. The band have used this to carve soundscapes with giant guitars, that bring to mind the likes of Will Haven, laced with slices of Thursday or Thrice.
The entire opus is spiked with little interludes giving the whole album a concept feel ala Neurosis and the like, but it really kicks off when the grinding of Beyond The Stinking crashes in, marrying tuned down riffage with pitch perfect clean vocals. The bounce of We Are If We Dare will ensure pit action wherever they play live and it’s also an excellent lesson in restraint. Too many bands would choose to bark the vocals over this sort of ferocious riff, but vocalist Charlie Berezansky, keeps it clean, giving the track perfect balance. There’s an obvious Deftones influence on Gather Your Bones, but if you are going to take influence from the best, then you better make it good. Fear not Vexes make it good. Inexerol tees of with another gigantic riff, before developing into a breezy chorus and then transcends again into a chaotically heavy ending. Imagine What We Could Destroy is a gorgeous piano interlude which I assume signals the unofficial end of the first album, before we crash headlong into the low-end groove of Low Choices, where the relationship between drum and bass is given time to shine through the verses. Former A Life Once Lost skinsman Justin Graves pushes every riff to it’s full potential with some fabulous off kilter beats and fills but Energy Vampires is where he really shines, pulling off perhaps his best work on the album. You could never accuse Vexes of being mainstream, but perhaps the most accessible track on the album is The Dream Disease, which gallops along at a thoroughly danceable rate. At Nothing is a keyboard led heartbreaker of a track that shows off Berezansky’s vocal range, while Away Stars looks to end the album strongly, before the soundscape of If Only Given Time plays out like the soundtrack to an unnamed sci-fi epic, beautifully book ending the whole thing.
Talent is clearly in abundance in the Vexes camp as this whole album was also recorded and produced by the band and while they are at odds to call it a concept album, a story is being told here and there is a very different feel to each half. But one thing that is absolutely certain, Imagine What We Could Destroy /// If Only Given Time is nothing short of epic. This an album that is going to make people stand up and take notice and by rights, will take them to stratospheric new heights….Chris Andrews