Undercroft – „The Seventh Hex”
Morbid Skull Records

Undercroft, a name that is very well known when it comes to the Chilean metal music arena. The beginning of Undercroft is marked by the appearance of their mythical demos, released during the 1992-93 era.The demo releases were soon followed by two old school rooted death/thrash metal releases — “Twisted Souls”(1995) and “Bonebreaker”(1997). After taking a short break and undergoing some lineup changes, Undercroft offered one of their best works to date “Danza Macabra”. Released in August,2000, the third full length brought more of the power and force that had already started to characterize the band’s punishing sound.After five years since the last opus „Ruins of Gomorrah”, Undercroft offer their 7th full length “The Seventh Hex”, comprised of nice aggressive death/thrash metal. Undercroft has crafted much more intense sound than ever with their blending of grueling brutal death metal and groovy thrash metal elements.The pattern of the music is unpredictable, and it gets more bizarre and more neck-wrecking while getting tempered with the rage invoking voice of Alvaro Lillo — the guy who has been taking care of the live bass duty of Watain since 2007.
This is pure 80’s thrash/death metal put through a modern filter, building up intensity through mood rather than speed. They mostly stick around midpaced, speeding up every now and then, occasionally launching into a well-placed blastbeat, but never simply revving up to breakneck speed for its own sake.Undercroft is a very consistent band, in regards to their sound, style and quality of recording.”The Seventh Hex” is a great example of their ability to mesh formerly prominent thrash metal influences with newer death metal standards.I love a death/thrash band that knows when to shut up and play, when to slow down and when to speed up. Undercroft is handcrafted and tried and true in ethics and aesthetics, this is an experienced band.They manages to maintain a perfect balance between technical flash and visceral force, speed and gravity, thrashing/slashing and all out pummeling.
This is forty minutes of great riffs, catchy vocal lines, imaginative bass lines and slightly sloppy yet aggressive drumming. „The Seventh Hex” is very consistent, never missing a beat. One of the most astounding aspects of this album is the drumming. I have never heard such precise, timely, and well-maintained drumming. Alvaro Lillo does a great job with his vocal delivery, harsh and aggressive yet controlled, a great example of his vocal power is „Sing the Die Song ” where he bursts in with the part of the album which is easily my favourite part of the entire album and manages to stick in my mind quite easily. The guitar on this album is brilliant, proof that simplicity is better than all out technical shredding, the riffs are great and don’t repeat beyond the point where they become tired out and dull.They really keep the rhythm intact, and the solos don’t really take away from the value of the song at all. They match the timing, and give each song character. Along with the backbone drumming, the constant up-down-up-down picking adds a nice touch to keep the structure of the songs flowing. The riffage does not over-power the melodic parts, or vice-versa. Very impressive throughout this album I noticed an excellent balance in this.
In general, this album was really well written. The production quality is fantastic, and the band just unites, each doing their part as best as they can.”The Seventh Hex” is a treasure for metal heads who don’t mind having groove here and there and see that sound is more important than speed.