Hive‘s brand of bleak, concussive hardcore batters, bruises and comes swinging down violently upon listeners’ heads, much like the scythe that graces their album’s cover.
Comprised of members who have served time in various notable metal and hardcore acts, such as Disembodied, Threadbare, 108, among others, this Minneapolis quartet utilizes the skills they have honed over the years to deliver a dark, driving and expertly crafted hardcore album with Parasitic Twin.
Taking pages from crust heavyweights such as His Hero is Gone, Cursed and Tragedy, Hive faithfully nods to the genre’s figureheads while pushing it further more successfully than most modern crust practitioners. With its ferocious, stampeding instrumentation, sprawling atmospherics and wealth of sociopolitically-charged lyrics, Parasitic Twin is quite the force to be reckoned with.
Parasitic Twin behaves as a 40-minute sonic rollercoaster; twisting, turning and assaulting the listener in a variety of ways. Shorter tracks like “Low Hanging Fruit of War”, “Collared Slave”, “Intruder” and “N.I.N.A.” show the band at their most direct and vicious. Driving, bludgeoning riffs and propulsive, hammering d-beat rhythms meet in a fiery crust collision. Darkened hardcore chord progressions often give way into dismal, melodic flourishes and roaring leads (elements that make an even more notable impact in cuts like “Acephalite”) while vocalist Morgan Carpenter unloads his gruff bellows atop it all. These are songs that one would expect to find on a post His Hero is Gone-era crust release, but the remainder of Parasitic Twin show that Hive are not one-trick-ponies.
Tracks like “Gated Community” and “Heaven’s Gutter” combine the ripping hardcore and melodic intricacies of the album’s shorter and faster numbers, while introducing bits of mid-paced sludge fervor into the mix. These sludgier elements are explored further, and slowed to a menacing sprawl, in longer cuts like “Common Ancestor” and “Foot Binding”.
Walls of noise buzz and reverberate during the beginning moments of “Common Ancestor”, while somber guitar riffs slowly creep into view. After three minutes the song explodes into a devastating march of dissonance, towering sludge and harsh, throat-searing vocals. “Foot Binding” begins with three minutes of atmospheric, psychedelic riffs, which steadily build into a cataclysmic, almost post-metal attack comprised of lumbering riffs intertwined with melodic leads. The final three-minutes of the seven-minute tune is a high-octane hardcore dash to the finish, delivering some of the album’s hardest hitting riffs.
The album’s instrumental title track and centerpiece is also worth noting for its somber, atmospheric vibe. The song is drenched in airy ambiance that drapes over the entire track like a sheet. Drums and slow-burning guitars repeat hypnotically throughout and while the song is a brief detour from the album’s hellacious nature, it still possesses a very dismal quality that will keep listeners immersed in the album’s inherent darkness.
Hive have constructed an absolutely crushing, bitter and intelligent crust album that effectively sidesteps genre conventions to carve a niche of their own while staying true to their roots. Parasitic Twin is a monstrous and well-executed release that will restore those who have their faith in hardcore.
Release Date: April 21, 2017
Label: Crown and Throne Ltd.
Favorite Tracks: “Low Hanging Fruit of War”, “Foot Binding”, “Acephalite”, “Intruder” and “Heaven’s Gutter”
For Fans Of: Syndomes, His Hero is Gone, Cursed and Masakari