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Storytime: my uncle is the first person to foster an appreciation for music in my life. He bought me my first hard and progressive rock albums. He encouraged me to dig past Top 40 and classic rock radio to discover sounds that more tightly fit my personality and feelings. He's part of why I am working at Invisible Oranges.

He also doesn't like most contemporary music. Last year I sat with him at a pizza joint that was wisely playing the first Run The Jewels album from front to back. When I commented on how much I enjoyed the album, my uncle said that he doesn't like hip hop and that "it's alright to dismiss whole genres outright."

I categorically disagree, even though I do the same thing. For example: raw black metal rubs me the wrong way. Still, it only takes one good band to make ignoring raw black metal a foolish decision. Say, a band like Haxen.

I gave Haxen a shot because the project shares a guitarist and drummer with Sangus, a band whose pure vitriol I love and admire. Much of that raw anger shows up in both projects, through Haxen is the more unpredictable of the two. With raw black metal as a template, Haxen shift from one extreme to another, at times evoking the atmospheric side of black metal, and at others locking into riffs that saw the way Sangus does. Too often this music is simply atonal murk with a few stellar drums fills holding it together, but Haxen have composed an actual record with two distinct sides and, praise satan, dynamic arcs within their songs.

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Haxen is out tomorrow via Eternal Death Records.

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