Jex Thoth - Totem CD

Image of Jex Thoth - Totem CD


"Totem, now known as Jex Thoth, play a mesh of reverb-laden stoner metal and hooky traditional doom, with an additional dose of '70s hard rock. This EP is their best offering in my opinion, trumping the Jex Thoth full-length by leaps and bounds. Totem contains female vocallist Jex and crew's heaviest, most psychedelic, most inspired, and undoubtedly their most sinister material. Everything revolves around primal sludge riffs and the haunting, ethereal singing of one of the best songstresses in metal. Jex Thoth's self-titled is not immune to occassional progressive pitfalls, in which I think the band does not shine, but Totem is far more coherent; it's obvious to me that these three songs have purpose. There's no trace of meandering or plodding along in the songwriting process for the sake of creating something outside the bounds of duration-friendly radio rock, despite the lengthyness of the last track, "Tauti", which is defined not only by memorable vocal lines but a ridiculous seven-minute guitar solo drenched in feedback.

No way, folks, this is hazy stripped down riff-based doooooooooom in the vein of The Wizar'd and old Saint Vitus. Those who enjoy their doom sans gimmicks and ill-conceived progressive tendencies that dilute more than refine are sure to find as much to enjoy on this EP as I have. Keys are utilized, but they're more Hammond organ than synth blasturbation. I would rate this EP higher if it wasn't for the latter section of "Kagemni", which is guilty of boring vocals sung in monotone. That may seem like nitpicking, but there's only twenty minutes of music here, so every second is important to the final product. Other than that segment, Jex Thoth seems to be a unique vocallist with a fine sense of restraint and an ear for spine-tingling melody. Pop singers such as Anette Olzon could learn from Jex Thoth's strong example; Totem is female fronted metal with a focus on metal, not cleavage or cheerful Top 40 sensibilities. As far as I'm concerned, Jex should be front and center showing other aspiring female artists how it's done. -- Metal Archives