Hexalogy is Darren Michael Boyd’s 6th official studio release. It is a turning point in Boyd’s compositional style of instrumental music; a culmination of a six-year personal and professional roller coaster, resulting in ten spells of musical witchcraft.
All of the elation, pain, and loss, have been combined in a brew and poured into riffs and melodies. The blend of humour and darkness fans have come to expect are still present, and the Spooky Surf vibe and Hard Rock inspirations are more powerful and make no apologies.
As always, Boyd clearly places his focus on the importance of crafting great songs. Hexalogy is meant for music lovers, but there is no shortage of fiery guitar work to satisfy true shred fans! For the sake of efficiency, Darren Michael Boyd has always produced his own solo albums. On Hexalogy, his growth as a producer, as well as a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, is apparent.
Track by Track:
Vulgar Lore – This track is an obvious opener for the album. Vulgar Lore takes you on a long journey in a short period of time. It shows Boyd’s hard rock influences and never loses intensity, even during the slower tempo outro.
The Seven Strings Of Grief – Boyd shines on this track by skilfully combining the Spooky Surf Sound with powerful Metal riffs. The walking bass lines and sparse, haunting clean guitar chords create an eerie musical landscape. There is proficient and creative use of a 7-string guitar throughout, in both the clean and distorted sections.
Flesh On The Fretboard – Three tracks into the album and Boyd is wearing the Metal genre tag like the badge of honour that it is. He takes the song into some melodic, unexpected places, then returns to the heaviness and finishes strong and loud.
Hide And Shriek – Built on a foundation of hooky low-octave riffs, this track is a fist-pumper. It has a creepy horror movie vibe in places, particularly with the “monster” guitar solo!
Sedona Legato – Evidently named for one of Boyd’s three Sphynx cats, “Sedona” is such a catchy song that the proverbial earworm will lay eggs that you may never get rid of. The verse melody is evocative and expressive, and the chorus riff is expertly harmonized.
Darkling – A plaintive, melodic lead guitar offering paints a melancholic picture over a retro-sounding musical canvas. The instrumentation shows plenty of restraint for the benefit of the composition, and expresses ferocity at just the right moments.
Cupid Elimination – A sad sounding song, with a humorous title. Much of the guitar tone on this track leans toward a cleaner side of distortion, without losing any impact whatsoever. There is a middle-eight solo section that boarders on progressive creativity which seems to swirl out of control before masterfully bringing everything back to where it belongs. Absolute madness within an otherwise well-oiled machine.
The G-String Murders – This track also features the more “metal” side of Boyd’s writing, demonstrating his ability to create intense, high-energy music, without sacrificing melody. This song starts and ends with an explosive hard rock murdermystery vibe, sandwiched by a unique style of hammer-ons that both guitar players and music lovers will no doubt appreciate.
Racing For Pinks – One of Boyd’s most “surf-styled” tracks to date, he explains that the title is a throwback reference to 1950’s movies (and Grease in the 70’s) where the winner of a drag race would take possession of the loser’s vehicle. This song is full of tension, dynamics, and a motorcycle guitar throughout!
No Pain, No Stain – Possibly one of the funniest titles yet, with multiple possible meanings. It’s an uplifting track with a beautiful melody and a chorus that elevates. No Pain, No Stain is perfect closer for Hexalogy, wrapping up the entire artistic vision of the album.
01. Vulgar Lore | 02. The Seven Strings Of Grief | 03. Flesh On The Fretboard | 04. Hide And Shriek | 05. Sedona Legato | 06. Darkling | 07. Cupid Elimination | 08. The G-String Murders | 09. Racing For Pinks | 10. No Pain, No Stain
Hexalogy | Released October 24th, 2023 via Sliptrick Records
Darren Michael Boyd are:
Darren Michael Boyd – Live Guitar/All studio instruments | Mike Berrigan – Drums (live) | Trevor St. Peter – Guitar (live) | Carina Daugherty – Bass (live)