Exposé Online banner

Resonaxis — Hymnarium
(Indidem IND003, 2012, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2013-09-27

Hymnarium Cover artIn the land down under there is a relatively new band that is producing some of most unique progressive music you will ever hear. Who would have ever thought of combining heavy metal guitar, melodic bass, hard-hitting percussion, a choral singer, and a pipe organ? Not I, but this combination works amazingly well and the result is an alchemical mixture of progressive rock, heavy metal, and Renaissance music. Given that a pipe organ is not an instrumental that is easily moved, I find it incredible to me that Resonaxis can tour and perform live! Of course they find venues with an installed organ such as the Sydney Opera House, St. James’ Church, and St. Stephens’ Newtown. The band is Brooke Shelley (soprano voice), David Drury (organist), Matt Roberts (drums), Richard Hundy (guitar), and Adam Bodkin (bass). There is an overall Gothic feel to the disc that brings immediate comparisons to Italian progressive music. The opening track “Monsignor Loss” is also a particularly gruesome song “(he) broke my sternum, reached in his hand, and gouged out a hole.” Aside from the subject matter, Drury’s keyboard skills are majestic and propelled by Hundy’s guitar work. The second track, “Hymn,” is interesting as it alternates between progressive metal and vocals akin to a Gregorian chant. The high points for me are “Wachet Auf”; “Hymn 2,” with some crazed organ playing calling to mind Vincent Price; “Mysterium,” sung in Latin, with Metallica styled guitar mixed low to allow Brooke’s vocals to shimmer; and the closing track “Akasha” with more chanting and whispered voices. Brooke’s soprano draws some comparisons to Jacqui McShee of Pentangle, and her voice works well in a choral setting or when she is harmonizing. However, as a soloist Brooke needs a bit more grit and emotion to enable her to stand out. As it is, I find myself tiring of her voice, which is unfair to the band and their music.

Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Resonaxis

More info
http://au.myspace.com/resonaxis
http://www.facebook.com/Resonaxis
http://www.resonaxis.com

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Monolith - Monolith – At first listen this k/b/d band delivers up derivative progressive rock of the highest order. However, I discovered that a good chunk of this was written in 1977, nearly predating the sound they lean...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues