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Bigelf Hex album cover
3.76 | 100 ratings | 7 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Madhatter (4:15)
2. Bats In The Bulfry II (3:30)
3. Pain Killers (3:20)
4. Disappear (6:32)
5. Rock & Roll Contract (5:30)
6. Sunshine Suicide (4:15)
7. Falling Bombs (4:58)
8. Black Moth (6:06)
9. Carry The Load (5:37)
10. Burning Bridges (6:50)
11. Bats In The Belfry I (7:43)
12. $ (2:07)

Total Time 60:43

Line-up / Musicians

- Ace Mark / lead, rhythm & slide guitars
- Damon Fox / organ, Mellotron, synths, piano, guitar, vocals, composer & producer
- Duffy Snowhill / bass
- Steve Frothingham / drums, gong

Releases information

Artwork: Stephen Linsley (photo)

CD EastWest ‎- 5050466-7416-5-3 (2003, Europe)
CD Powerage ‎- PAGE009CD (2010, Europe)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BIGELF Hex ratings distribution

(100 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

BIGELF Hex reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars The saying is "third time lucky", well BIGELF's third album is a perfect example, what a thrilling experience! Their music is based upon the heavy sound of BLACK SABBATH featuring fat guitar-riffs, a leaden rhythm-section and OSBOURNE-like vocals. Other obvious influences are The BEATLES (especially John Lennon), PINK FLOYD (Gilmourian slide guitar) and KING CRIMSON (floods of violin-Mellotron). The music is dynamic and alternating, from ballads to heavy rock with a lot of progressive tendencies like the integration of keyboards (Mellotron, Hammond organ, piano and synthesizers), changing climates, varied tempos and spectacular breaks. The distinctive vocals are powerful and have often a cynical undertone. BIGELF's evolution is stunning, I'm more pleased with their progressive approach than the predictable and boring prog (metal) from a lot of known current bands. If you are up to heavy and compelling progrock, BIGELF is yours!
Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars What a hex ...

This album is great because of its various styles from Art Rock up to Heavy Rock. There are many references to wellknown bands - you can discover Black Sabbath ('Madhatter', 'Pain killers'), Pink Floyd ('Bats in the Belfry II') or Beatles ('Rock & Roll contract').

But it really begins to evolve with track No. 4 by developing their own style. 'Falling bombs', 'Black Moth', 'Burning Bridges' and 'Bats in the Belfry I' is pure Art Rock at its best!

I don't know how long this will be possible: you can download the tracks for FREE from their homepage ...

Review by Negoba
3 stars Enter the Pleasure Dome

Bigelf's _Hex_ is the equivalent to a day at the amusement park or eating sweet, rich cake. Pure guilty pleasure. Brazenly unashamed of showing their influences, the band produces a sound that combines modern production with 70's rock sound and attitude to produce an aural experience that is, at least for me, almost euphoric.

The opener, Mad Hatter, begins with a clear nod to Sabbath and Ozzy, with a near quote of Iron Man. The verse melody abruptly breaks into another near lift, from Another Brick in the Wall. Within 30 seconds you know what you're going to get - an in your face, balls to the wall, rock-n-roll ride that combines the two most popular headtrip bands of all time into one monstrous, colorful musical feast. Over the next few songs, the final elements of Beatles' vocal harmony and melodic sense, along with singer and keyboardist Damon Fox's take on classic prog Hammond and mellotron come in to add in more flavors. What remains hidden is that some might fine prog will be the dessert course.

Some will be annoyed at how derivative the music is, but sometimes you just want to rock. And rock this does, and the retro feel has so much more heart than much of the cold, nihilistic expressions of raw aggression of modern heavy music. Unlike fellow retro-rockers Wolfmother (whose music caught my ear on first listen but quickly lost my interest after that), Bigelf's music is huge, thick, and complex. The compositions become increasingly prog-like as the album goes on, with some off-time sections, psychedelic sound-effects, rapid shifts in mood, and huge keyboard solos. Sabbath gives way to Gentle Giant, but what remains throughout is a huge dose of Floyd.

The band offers a shortened version of the two part track Bats in the Belfry on their website, which is a good indicator if you'll enjoy their sound.

All in all, this is some energetic, trippy, delicious rock and roll comfort food. Enjoy.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It took Bigelf three years to release a follow-up to their masterful Money Machine and they came back with a much longest release which clocked at an hour's length.

The new addition to the band comes in a for of Ace Mark on guitar which now makes this band of semi-Finnish descent! Considering that Bigelf have spent quite a few years recording and touring Sweden they have definitely spawned roots here in Scandinavia so I'm not really sure that the whole California band-tag is really applicable anymore.

Hex begins with probably the most well recognized composition in the band's repertoire entitled Madhatter. The song has so far been performed at every Bigelf show that I've attended and it's also notable for Damon Fox disguise since he usually wears a tall hat when the band performs the composition. Being a huge fan of Gabriel eras-Genesis I really appreciate this nice touch because it definitely touches upon the whole '70s art rock phenomenon that is so close to my heart.

It's great when a band records a lot of material but at the same time it becomes a bit of a problem here since Hex is far from a linear album in its design. I love almost all of these compositions although there are a few straightforward rock tunes that I could have done without, but that's a natural consequence of trying to appeal to a wider audience. The album does have two quite interesting ideas working for it where the first one consists of the Bats In The Bulfry song trilogy. The first two parts are featured on this album while part III is available on The Madhatter EP which was released just before this studio album. The fact that part II comes before part I actually makes this whole concept a reverse such and it confused the fans who bought the EP only to find out a song titled Bats In The Bulfry III on it. If anything, at least it's a brilliant market scheme that definitely appealed to collectors like me.

The album ends on a short bonus track entitled $ which is preceded by a short silent track. Everyone who has heard the band's latest studio offering will probably recognize this track as an early take of Money, It's Pure Evil which is also the first single from Cheat The Gallows. This is actually a very interesting addition to the album especially considering that the band took a brief hiatus before releasing their follow-up album.

***** star songs: Bats In The Bulfry I (7:43)

**** star songs: Madhatter (4:18) Bats In The Belfry II (3:30) Pain Killers (3:20) Disappear (6:33) Falling Bombs (4:58) Black Moth (6:06) Carry The Load (5:37) Burning Bridges (6:51) $ (2:08)

*** star songs: Rock & Roll Contract (5:30) Sunshine Suicide (4:16)

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Bigelf is such a joy to listen to, especially for someone like me that was around when a lot of their obvious influences were current. This music is simply awesome. It is so reminiscent of 70s prog bands, but far from just another cheap copy. This band could have co-existed right along with these bands and received all of the accolades that their influences would have received at the time. This is excellent heavy prog with music dripping with mellotron, heavy guitar solos, lots of prog elements, everything about rock music that is good is evident in this band.

That being said, this album is excellent, but falls a little short of what would be their next album "Cheat the Gallows", but don't get me wrong, there is plenty in this album that is simply awesome and amazing. The crazy synth solo is "Falling Bombs", the heaviness of "Madhatter", the heavy mellotron in the beautiful "Disappear", the dark mysteriousness of the organ and bass in "Black Moth" and so much more, this band creates music that never lacks in sound that lovers of 70s prog rock love and say they miss so much. The band is also not afraid to admit to their reliance on the sounds of bands like Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Black Sabbath and King Crimson. But the music they create is excellent and not a cheap copy. This is not a band of wannabes. These guys are the real deal. The guitar hooks work so well to draw you into the music which is ever changing, sometimes straightforward and other times totally psychedelic and off the wall, but always consistently top quality. Bigelf is probably the most similar to what Galactic Cowboys wanted to be. Even though GC is great at times, they are not consistently great. Bigelf, on the other hand, is so much better and consistently so. And GC sometimes had that element of cheesiness that could be annoying at times. Bigelf, even though there is an undercurrent of sarcasm in the music, are so much more professional and authentic.

I said it on my review of "Cheat the Gallows" and I say it again, I don't understand why more proggers aren't listening to this excellent band. You need to get a hold of their music, preferably "Cheat the Gallows" but most of the music on "Hex" will also do just fine. Because there is a little bit lacking on the production of this album which got remedied in the following album, it ends up with a 4 star rating because it is still great, just not as great. I'll say it again....Try Some Today! You won't be sorry.

Latest members reviews

4 stars BigElf or Black Sabbath revival. I knew a couple of songs of Bigelf and thought they were good. As it usually happens with a prog rock album, it is necessary to listen to it completely to understand the essence of a band. It happened to me and I got the album Hex and wow, impressive way of pla ... (read more)

Report this review (#1012807) | Posted by Memo_anathemo | Wednesday, August 7, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Great album from this American heavy psych-trio. Sometimes Bigelf is just too much of a Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath copy but the sound is very nice and the songs has a heavy and great sound. I hope this album will breake the band to a wider audience because they really deserve it. By the way, ... (read more)

Report this review (#32865) | Posted by | Friday, October 8, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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