Most of the songs on Hexadic have a fairly static quality: slow bass notes and drumming, contrasting against lightning-fast guitar riffs that are repetitive, to the point almost of redundancy. Clearly the brain child of guitarist Ben Chasny, everything else, from other instruments to vocals, take a back seat to the complexity of the guitar, which is handled masterfully despite its repetitive nature.
The album kicks off with “The Ram,” an off-kilter beginning with an intriguing, disharmonious interaction between guitar and percussion. This combination becomes a staple for the rest of the album. Unfortunately, the song doesn’t build up to anything and never really goes anywhere. “Wax Chance” has a completely different sound, for it seems less experimental, and more directed, as if it knows where it’s going. It has vocals, which is atypical for most of the tracks. This song is heavily instrumented and metallic, as is the following track, “Maximum Hexadic.”
Six Organs of Admittance shakes it up with “Hesitant Grand Light,” which sounds, indeed, hesitant. The song literally hesitates to begin — several seconds transpire on the track before any music commences. The guitar assumes a different character in this song, for it has a Spanish, Spaghetti Western flare, with light, melancholic strumming in the background.
“Future Verbs” is another unique song. There is a creepy dissonance to the interplay between instruments and many of the notes have an out-of-sync quality, which is not as off-kilter as the first song but produces a similar effect. Uniqueness aside, at some point listeners just have to wonder, “Where is this song going, anyway?” As soon as it seems to end, another stream of mismatched notes begins, identical to the last series.
“Vestige” is an interesting piece, or at least seems to be a vestige of a piece (pun intended). There are very few distinct notes; rather, the track consists of a continuous hum that varies slightly in pitch for nearly five minutes. The closing track, “Guild,” reverts to the norm for tracks on Hexadic by interspersing high-intensity guitar work with methodical percussion, although the drumming does pick up the pace about halfway through. A bit of keyboard and piano adds some variety to the song, which slows down all around by the finish.
Overall, the predominant characteristics of this album are instrumentals with a simultaneous contrast of fast and slow instrumentation, directing listeners’ attention towards the skilled guitar work of Chasny.