Monday, 10 August 2015

Hivelords - ‘Tapered Limbs of a Human Star’ (Album Review)

By: Chris Bull

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 04/08/2015
Label: Anthropic Records




'Cavern Apothecary' was a glimpse into the potential this band had at that point. On ‘Tapered Limbs of a Human Star’, they've smashed through the glass ceiling and surpassed the promise they showed. The fact that they're signed to Anthropic Records is both a blessing and a curse; it makes those who know about the band seem like part of a secret club and preserves their cult status. However, had this been released on a label like Relapse, Profound Lore or Candlelight, everyone would be losing their shit and proclaiming this as the best album they've heard this year. It’s simply stunning.’


‘Tapered Limbs of a Human Star’ CD//DD//LP track listing

1). Soothsayer Worm
2). Vessel
3). Begotten Grimoire
4). I Climbed the Highest Dakma to Find it

Hivelords is

Will Mellor | Drums
Tyler Butler| Bass
Kevin North | Vocals
Lydia Giordano | Guitar
Evan Void | Guitar

The Review:

Hivelords are one of those bands that tick all the right boxes for me personally. Atmosphere - check. Interesting riffs - check. Occasional blast beats - check. Tortured vocals - check. Filth - check. Ability to put together a good song - check. The atmosphere has always been a key point to their sound, right back to their 2011 release 'The Cellar Scrolls' and most recently with 2013's 'Cavern Apothecary' (which was one of my favourite releases of that year), they've pushed boundaries and tread paths many bands are too scared to tread.

'Soothsayer Worm' begins like a slow descent into the maelstrom, the atmosphere of impending doom, the fear of the unknown. We get some blast beats and a stylistically black metal song construction, guitarist Evan Void (also of Tombs) flexes his considerable musical muscle, undoubtedly, playing in a band with Mike Hill has rubbed off! After 10 minutes and several tempo changes, the sense of dread intensifies with the sludgy tones of second song 'Vessel' and the descent continues. The fires of hell are close, the hands and arms of several screaming lost souls are reaching out to pull you in. Vocalist Kevin North wails and snarls like a mad man over the anomalous riffs churned out by Void and Lydia Giordano. Around the 6.30 mark, everything slows to a writhing crescendo; an ominous harsh noise pierces through the mix and scrapes at your eardrums as the song fades out at 9 minutes.

'Begotten Grimoire' could have been recorded in Norway in the 90's were the production not of superior quality! Towards the end of the song the blasts punctuate through the almost heroic riffing. Your journey through Hell has been painful but you now know what needs to be done to escape. And so to the album's terminal conclusion, the 12 minute 'I Climbed The Highest Dakhma to Find It'. For the most part, it's black metal but there's definitely some sludge and doom in there. The first 7 minutes is your battle with the demons that surround you, the remaining 5 is your ascent through the small opening in the cave. It's dark, you're tired and wounded but you must continue to climb, you must escape. The distorted, disjointed vocals fade away through the trad doom riffs and lumbering drums. Everything rings out as you realise you've reached the mountain's pinnacle. You survey the apocalyptic wasteland below and realise the hell you've just experienced is no worse than what awaits you in the real world.

'Cavern Apothecary' was a glimpse into the potential this band had at that point. On ‘Tapered Limbs of a Human Star’, they've smashed through the glass ceiling and surpassed the promise they showed. The fact that they're signed to Anthropic Records is both a blessing and a curse; it makes those who know about the band seem like part of a secret club and preserves their cult status. However, had this been released on a label like Relapse, Profound Lore or Candlelight, everyone would be losing their shit and proclaiming this as the best album they've heard this year. It’s simply stunning.


‘Tapered Limbs of a Human Star’ is available here

Band info: Facebook| Instagram | Bandcamp

NORTHERN AMERICA TOUR

8/10 - APPLETON, WI
8/11 - FARGO, ND
8/12 - BILLINGS, MT
8/13 - BOZEMAN, MT
8/14 - MISSOULA, MT
8/15 - SPOKANE, WA
8/16 - SEATTLE, WA
8/17 - TACOMA, WA
8/18 - PORTLAND, OR
8/19 - ASHLAND, OR
8/20 - OAKLAND, CA
8/21 - PROVO, UT
8/22 - LARAMIE, WY
8/23 - COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
8/24 - DENVER, CO
8/25 - WICHITA, KS
8/26 - KANSAS CITY, MO
8/27 - LEXINGTON, KY
8/28 - CHARLESTON WV
8/29 - PITTSBURGH, PA
9/5 - PHILADELPHIA, PA
9-25-SHADOW WOODS METAL FEST

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