Legendary US power thrashers Hexx have inked a new two-album record deal with Germany’s High Roller Records. The band is currently working on twelve new songs with producer Bart Gabriel who also produced band’s latest single “Tyrants Of Steel”. The new album will showcase the band’s return to their roots, and the style they are known for from their early classic albums Under The Spell and No Escape. The album will be entitled Wrath Of The Reaper and has been scheduled for the release in the Spring/Summer of 2017.
Hexx, led by founding member and guitarist Dan Watson, features amazing new vocalist Eddy Vega and Bob Wright on second guitar. The lineup is completed by Mike Horn (who joined Hexx in 2013) on bass guitar and John Shaffer (who played in Hexx between 1986 and 1995 and returned in 2014) on drums.
In addition to releasing the “Tyrants Of Steel” single, in 2016 Hexx also reissued their early albums Under The Spell and No Escape in the form of a 30th Anniversary 2CD/DVD box set via Metal Blade Records, and the 1991 technical epic Morbid Reality via Dark Symphonies Records.
Hexx was formed in 1983, and released its debut album, No Escape, on Mike Varney‘s Shrapnel Records label in 1984. Since then the group has been through several lineup changes and musical style variations. The first lineup for the No Escape album was: Dennis Manzo (vocals), Dan Watson (guitars), Bill Peterson (bass) and Dave Schmidt (drums). The group’s second effort, Under The Spell, was released in 1986 once again on the Shrapnel label, and with European distribution support from Roadrunner Records. For this album, Dennis Manzo was replaced by Dan Bryant on vocals, and Clint Bower was added on rhythm guitar. The musical style for this album was still very much power metal, but with a hint of the speed and thrash influence that would define the band’s subsequent musical style and direction.
By 1988 Hexx recorded the Help Your Self demo demonstrating a shift away from traditional power metal to the speed/thrash style that was taking over the Bay Area musical landscape at the time. Clint Bower took over on vocals, and Dave Schmidt was replaced by drummer John Shafer. England’s Music For Nations label signed the band and released the Quest For Sanity EP in Europe. This album was released in the United States the following year by Wild Rags Records. In 1990 Hexx released a single on the Wild Rags label called “Watery Graves” which included two speed/thrash bonus track versions of “Under The Spell” and “Edge Of Death” from their 1986 Under The Spell album.
In 1992 Hexx signed with Century Media Records and released their most technical and speed driven album to date, Morbid Reality. A year or so after this release the group disbanded and lay dormant until spring of 2013, when founding members Dan Watson and Bill Peterson reformed with original No Escape vocalist Dennis Manzo, and new drummer Gary Gutfeld, to perform at the Keep It True Festival in Germany in 2014. The reformed Hexx recorded the Up From The Grave demo that is in the similar power metal style of their first two albums. Due to Bill Peterson‘s mounting health issues, he was replaced by bassist Mike Horn just prior to the band’s performance at the Keep It True festival. Mike Horn remains as the band’s bass player to this day.
After returning home from performing at the Keep It True Festival in Germany, history seemed to repeat itself, and Dennis Manzo was once again replaced by Dan Bryant on vocals, and Gary Gutfield was replaced by original member John Shafer on drums. This line-up recorded two new songs, “Burn Or Boil” and “Swimming The Witch”, and in July of 2015 performed at the Headbangers Open Air festival in Germany. A new deal was signed with Metal Blade Records to re-release both Under The Spell and No Escape. Quest For Sanity and Watery Graves are being re-released on Vic Records, and Morbid Reality is being reissued by Dark Symphonies Records. Dan Bryant has recently been replaced by new vocalist Eddy Vega, and Bob Wright from Brocas Helm has signed on to share guitar duties with Dan Watson.