Hexis, Kimura & Pulvinar – Whammy Bar: April 11, 2023

Hexis

Hexis, on a return tour (last here in 2016) once again brought their interpretation of Punk, Hardcore and Black Metal to Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland on a damp Ratu/Tuesday night.

Formed in 2010, Hexis hail from Copenhagen, which is in Hovedstaden, a region of Denmark, and feature a fluid lineup, vocalist Filip Andersen being the sole remaining original member. Creatively, Hexis combines the DIY ethics of Punk, the energy of Hardcore with the mysticism of Black Metal and has released three full-length albums; Abalam (2014) and Tando Ashanti (2017) and Aeternum (2022) in a sea of singles and EPs.

Their visit to Aotearoa is part of a three-week Oceania tour which has seen them play in Noumea/New Caledonia and Papeete/French Polynesia before hitting our shores. They are no strangers to playing in unique places, having previously played in unexpected places like Uzbekistan, Nepal and Cambodia, all possible due to Filip Andersen’s DIY approach to booking and touring his band worldwide.

Pulvinar

PulvinarAre a grindcore + punk band from Tāmaki Makaurau that formed in late 2017. A rarity in that not only are they a two-piece, but they also feature a female vocalist/guitarist. Their punchy and incredibly tight 20-minute set is a sonic assault that masks the twinset onstage. They are a stunning start to the evening

Kimura

KimuraFormed in 2020, they describe themselves as a deathcore band. Kimura start with a much slower sludged tempo, as a four-piece that becomes five after a trio of songs. The vocalist has a growl that is powerful and authentic. The bass player’s five-string bass is impressive, as he uses all five to work in unison with the drummer to create a drum n bass undercurrent. Tonight though, the drummer alone is the linchpin of the band’s sound, he is phenomenally tight and engineered. Although only a few years in existence, Kimura are already sounding mature and dominant in the room. Mightily impressed with their skills and the range of dynamics within their genre, in particular since this is only their third performance (as told to me by the drummer post-show)

I must say I love these 20min-ish sets on a Tuesday night. Big ups to the opening bands and the promoter.

Where did everybody go…? It seems there are a lot of smokers and vapes here tonight, and have retreated to the Arcade for legal substance abuse.

Hexis

Lights dimmed as intro music harks the coming, as you would expect from a touring band. HexisVocalist Filip Andersen dominates the stage like a preacher and exudes energy as he reaches out to connect with the audience. The wall of noise created by the three other band members is enveloping like a sonic assault. Whammy suffers wave after wave of hardcore and metal energy entering every crevice.

But this is Wall of Noise 101. It is refined, controlled, has orchestral resonance, and has an undercurrent of dark-gothic energy. They may be described as black-metal, but tonight their rhythmic pace is thoughtful, channelling creativity that underpins their performance.

While the 200 or so faithful are enamoured, and the hardy are upfront in rapture. Playing in a basement bar might feel like a step down from the festival crowds Hexis normally play in Europe, but tonight their performance is not impaired by any measure. They give their all, for the faithful that have made the pilgrimage.

60-ish minutes in and the show ceases, no encore, lights up and the band pack up. Once again the Punk DIY ethic is showing. Hexis are in control of their fate, as they continue to evolve since forming in 2010, synthesizing their sound and staying in control of their trajectory.

Simon Coffey

Click on any image to view a photo gallery:

Hexis:
Kimura:
Pulvinar:

 

 

Simon Coffey