Hive Mind Narcosis    

Okay, so I know I’m late. When I received the promo before the release date, I expected I would have this done in short order. Life happens and so does this album. To review this properly, one must spend copious amounts of time, so if you’re not into being patient, then don’t bother with Hive Mind Narcosis.

However, I have a beard, and long hair, and have been dating someone for a little while I’m not even 100% sure likes me. What I’m saying is that I am a patient man, so this album was seemingly built for me. What I dismissed as another Portal clone, despite thoroughly enjoying Sacred White Noise at first, revealed itself eventually.

When it comes to the album and its distorted, wonky, yet somehow foreboding guitars in “Solar Witch,” I was befuddled. The bass has a definite presence amongst the chaos, but that chaos is indeed difficult. Even when it does slow down, relatively speaking, it is still a wall of noise. Production on an album with this sort of swelling hive of sound can only be dizzying. The fact that one can still hear all the instruments is a feat unto itself, but as a listener, you know what you’re getting, which is the purpose of an intro.

The second track, “Surgical Utopian Love,” sits at around 10 minutes. There are some more atmospheric sections, such as the one starting around 3 minutes in. No matter how long it lasts with its bending strings, sustains, and sparse drums, you just know it’s going to end. It lasts nearly 4 minutes and goes into that dissonant death metal territory inhabited by Ulcerate and Imperial Triumphant, not so much Portal as I originally surmised. While the guitar lick is repetitive, it’s to an almost hypnotic quality.

In the middle of the album is a 7-plus minute song called “Burning Kingdom of Now,” which is entirely relatable. 7 minutes isn’t long when it comes to this band, and somehow a song with that title feels brighter and happier than the rest. If it weren’t for those pesky, vicious roars… Around the 4 ½ minute mark, I can feel it building to a crescendo that unfortunately never transpires.

Directly after is the track “Hungry Ghosts.” That’s understandable. Ghosts are transparent and can’t maintain food because of a lack of organs and pretty much everything else. They must be starving to death. Wait… Where was I?

Anyway, to close it out is “Mind of the Sun.” It’s shorter at under 5 minutes and sounds far more immediate than anything else. It just goes to show that if you take these songs track-by-track, it’s not going to register, but when the album is absorbed in its entirety, the way it ends in a flurry of anxious drums, guitars, bass, and vocals makes perfect sense.

There are only 7 tracks spanning 47 minutes, so that’s an average of nearly 7 minutes. That’s a lot to demand of a listener when it comes to Thantifaxath’s brand of festering, whirling blackness. The glaring flaw is, as mentioned earlier, crescendos or “big moments” that never quite arrive. It’s the post-black metal version of “edging.” However, that is not to disparage the (w)hole. It’s highly enjoyable, but only with patience will that reward come to light.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
June 15th, 2023


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