Hellixxir at Altherax, September 25, 2021

Nice Is Burning Festival

Hellixxir, band from Grenoble, formed in 2001, offers a metal combining dark, thrash and black. Their 4th album : The Black Fortress is released in October 2019. The band is the last to perform on the stage of the Nice Is Burning Festival.

With Alexandre Manin on vocals, Laurent Couarraze and Matthieu Laforêt on guitar, Baptiste Gastaldin on bass and Romain Charbonnier on drums, the band has 4 albums to its credit (including an compilation featuring unreleased tracks). On the 12 tracks played during this live show, 10 are part of their last opus: The Black Fortress which counts 11 of them. The 2 other songs are older, including Childhood's Trouble which appears on their 1st album: War Within and which they chose to open this live.

The instrumental intro of the 2 guitarists, velvety, whispers to our ears like a soft ballad before a heavier sound comes to disturb the delicacy of the moment. The more ardent rhythm, completed by a darker rhythmic, the saturated riffs converge to produce a bewitching atmospheric melody, before falling back into the initial calm. A nice start. The singer joins the stage for the second track and the tone rises or rather a gloomy growl. The rhythmic stamps, evacuating the throes of anger. The guitars, in turn, biting or melodic, play their distortions or their harmonics. The Black Fortress' drags us in a whirlwind to better suck us in its frightening meanders. But the journey is far from being finished and 'Oxymoronic Way Of Life' doesn't let us rest. The tempo varies to become crushing or more alert, like a chase, where hidden, we wait in the darkness of a shelter that the danger is over. But the danger is close. Then, one leaves one's shelter to flee again. The voice utters demonic roars and the journey continues towards the inevitable. A Journey To The Ineffable' has speedy riffs and an incisive bass line. Tat Tvam Asi - The Cosmic Veil Of Illusion' is a title taken from a Sanskrit mantra: Tat Tvam Asi, used to bring awareness. This is absolutely not the case here. It does not invite to meditation. On the contrary, it is a powerful despair that inhabits it, so much it is crossed by a thrash instrumentation and sharp soli. The darkness is at its peak with 'Blood Writings'. Wolf Behind Bars' is a song that condenses all the technical qualities of the band. 
Hellixxir is a band whose instrumental mastery is undeniable, whether it is the guitarists whose solos and riffs surf on several registers with an obvious skill, the drummer alternating between muscular tempo, blast beats and heavier atmosphere, supported by the famous rhythm sections of the bassist. The singer brings his touch of terror and sinister with his rough screams. Dark, Thrash and Black as you wish, we would like to take a dose of this Hellixxir.    

Setlist :
- Childhood's Trouble
- By The Stars Be Deceived
- The Black Fortress
- Oxymoronic Way Of Life
- Parapraxis
- A Journey To The Ineffable
- Venomous Delight
- Tat Tvam Asi - The Cosmic Veil Of Illusion   
- Blood Writings
- Unremembered Thoughts
- Wolf Behind Bars
- Theodicy

Article by Nathalie Bellesso
Author of the heroic fantasy trilogy "Les Véritables"
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