Album Review: Vexed – Negative Energy

4/5

U.K. alt-metal act Vexed released their new album, Negative Energy via Napalm Records in June and, rest assured, it’s potent if not deadly. The band have released three singles from their long player with “Trauma Euphoria” being the third and most recent one.

If you’re not familiar with Vexed, you should be. In some ways they’re reminiscent of Arch Enemy and/or Butcher Babies beautifully merging melodic elements with a much more unique and extreme sound. With Negative Energy, Vexed are certainly the most aggressive band this genre has to offer, lyrically and musically.

If the movie series The Purge were a real thing, Negative Energy would be the soundtrack to it. The record, start to finish, is a pulse-pounding excursion into a nether realm of anxiety and dread. Lyrically, the record deep dives the darker side of life and humanity, examining topics such as childhood trauma and survivor’s guilt with track three, “We Don’t Talk About It,” and track five, “Panic Attack,” which explores mental health issues. The massive level of monster riffing and vocal onslaught perfectly convey the feelings of terror and frustration surrounding emotional distress and abuse.

Let’s talk about the music for a second. The guitar sound of Jay Bacon complements the violent delivery of Megan Targett’s vocals against Willem Mason-Geraghty’s surgically precise drum attack. It’s hard to believe that the sound you’re hearing on this record is coming from three humans and not an infantry battalion on a battlefield. The chemistry Vexed has is unbelievable.

Although this critic isn’t prone to metal where the melodic is fused with the extreme, Vexed are truly masters at creating this sound which works on a level all its own. Songs compliment each other in a way which creates fluidity and consistency from opening track “PTSD” to closing number “Nepotism.” Standout tracks include “PTSD,” “Anti-Fetish,” and “Panic Attack” with it’s Pantera-esque riffing. If you haven’t picked up Negative Energy yet, do so immediately, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a knockout punch and a bone breaker, the way metal was meant to sound.

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