Review: “The Mirthless Kind” by HIVE

Three years after their self titled debut and a pair of stand alone singles in 2018’s “Pale Black” and “Abdicate”, Chicago Illinois Dark Atmospheric Progressive Metal quintet HIVE are bank. They’ve brought with them a new 6 track offering with Guitarist duo Pierre Worth and Mike Shanahan joined by vocalist Juanye West and a rhythm section of bassist Shady Salad and drummer Erik Shirley known for their relentless vocals and unorthodox sonics…

…We have a lot of time for HIVE based on that self titled debut and with the opening track “The Mirthless Kind” they don’t disappoint. A DJent groove riff with some serious Tech-Metal infused bounce and a slick solo showcase their talent while the Deathcore drum sound is immense. West laughing mid track cuts the tension with the sort of psychopathic evil that means you’re not sure if the gun is loaded or he’s just f@$xing with you. The hammer is pulled back and there is fire in his eyes. Click. West not only has a great vocal range but gets the message across with a range of different styles and voices. Brining new evil “Mara” takes the left hand path, building on those DJentisms with a storm Progressive Deathcore chimes, blast beats and Demonic vocal touches. It’s a chugging beast of a track that judders and lurches like a wounded beast that still has the venom to kill with the first bite. “Moonlit Eulogy” is a summoning of blistering fire storm vocals and Death Metal riffs that break out into those Tech-Metal infusions with a swagger. Dark and brooding overtones are shattered by a brutal breakdown and if Loathe or Heart of a Coward introduced Death to their sounds then this would be what it would sound like.

A couple of seconds short of the two minute mark, “Below” provides an instrumental break from the caustic vocals as an atmospheric break of Progressive Tech-Metal forming the introduction to “Spiritual Paralysis”. If you’re an Attila fan you’ll recognise that hopped up vocal burst that doesn’t pause for breath from West on this one, as it swirls from a dark mist of big symbol hits with downtuned DJent riffs. The only way out is death when you can’t contemplate your own fate. So they say. “Khashoggi” meaning “To murder someone in a cruel and ruthless manner, and get away with it due to your power and stature” ends things with a Tech-Metal bounce and a savage rap scream vocal. A relentless battering of cyclical riffage and bowl clenching guttural roars it’s a laceration that everyone can enjoy. [8/10]

Track listing

  1. The Mirthless Kind
  2. Mara
  3. Moonlit Eulogy
  4. Below (Instrumental)
  5. Spiritual Paralysis
  6. Khashoggi

“The Mirthless Kind” by HIVE is out now

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