HUDDERSFIELD band Nex are back with a new album and it’s their most ambitious yet.

They plan to launch the 13-song album, A Clockwork Heart, at a gig at The Parish tonight .

It’s been a year in the making and in that time, Nex have grown both musically and in numbers.

New guitarist Danny Hamer has come on board, joining existing guitarist Chris Kiernan, singer Ed Dickinson, drummer Mike Garlick and bass player The Professional.

The new album retains the harmonies and melodic metal that Nex fans know and love, but it also has elements of progressive rock, punk and even Japanese classical piano.

Chris said: “Think Nex plus Coheed and Cambria and Avenged Sevenfold. It is a sort of concept record. We wanted to make an album that reflected our eclectic tastes and short attention spans!”

A Clockwork Heart tells the story of a boy who was born with a clock for a face – an idea that started on Nex’s second single Tick, which featured on their first self-titled album.

The new album has been mixed by Chris Sheldon, who has worked with the Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro and Radiohead. Producer Mark Daghorn, who did Nex’s first album, was also on board. It was no mean feat mixing brass, synths, keyboards, acoustic guitars, piano, samples and effects with the band’s existing instruments.

Chris said: “He did an amazing job mixing the truckload of differing parts and musical instruments we recorded. We are more than pleased with the record.

“It took us the best part of a year from initial ideas to a full product but it has been worth it. It is leaps and bounds ahead of our first album in terms of complexity and nuance. It is a very rewarding listen that hopefully has the depth to stand the test of time.”

The ‘storybook’ concept of the record has even filtered through to the CD booklet, which has Grimms fairytale-style artwork done by a friend of the band, Arron Pepper. He has created a hand-drawn picture and lyrics for each song, with background landscapes drawn by Nikki Pogson.

Chris said: “We hope this will bring people into the story and engage them even more with the narrative.”

It’s not just Nex who are pleased with their new album – reviewers are loving it too.

Kerrang! gave it a KKKK rating, saying ‘A Clockwork Heart is beautiful in parts but also monstrously heavy, showing amazing creativity’. Planet Loud.com rated the album nine out of 10 and Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has been playing tracks from it on his BBC6Music show. Praise indeed.

Nex intend to give Huddersfield fans a taste of their new tracks at their launch gig, where they will share the bill with support acts NATO and Illuminatus.

Chris says fans will be in for a special night. “At the launch gig we’ll be playing lots of our more interesting numbers and it will be a very special show – not to be missed.”

Nex are currently in talks with booking agents and expect to announce a tour soon. Keep checking out their website, www.myspace.com/nexmusic for more details. You can also buy the new album from music stores including HMV and via iTunes on download.

You can listen to music from Nex at Fresh Music .