Hive’s metallic hardcore boils in mental health damages, pain on mind-melting ‘Spiritual Poverty’

Misery and psychological pain is everywhere you look, and even when you try to find silver linings and make the best of bad situations, it still weighs on you. Taking care of one’s mental health, especially in this country where it’s paid lip service by those who, uh, lead, can be the ultimate challenge, and before you know it, you can be buried beneath the murk, unable to break out.

Minneapolis hardcore unit Hive is well aware of this issue, and it’s smeared all over their new third record “Spiritual Poverty.” You can take inventory on that title alone, as it speaks volumes, and then you dig into these nine heaters, and that pain becomes all the more pronounced. I called them a hardcore group, and at their heart, that’s what they are, but the band—vocalist/guitarist Morgan Carpenter, guitarist Dan Jensen, bassist/vocalist Jim Adolphson, drummer Mike Paradise—plaster plenty of metallic elements as well, so it’s something that isn’t necessarily tied to one way of thinking. This record lays in its beatings right away, and you’re immersed in this pressure right to the final second.

“With Roots in Hell” punches open and charges with mean howls leading the way, the playing crunching and bludgeoning. The pace continues to ravage, the howls multiply as the playing jars, chugging hard until it blurs out. “So It Is Done” blisters with grisly howls and the leads catching fire and spiraling into the flames. The blasts go off as the leads light up and charge as Carpenter howls, “Where do we go from here?” as the melodies collect and gut you thoroughly. “Parallel Lines” unloads right off the bat, bringing menacing wails and the speed punishing and leaving you in the dust. A hardcore fury explodes and works its way toward you, kicking in the doors before ending abruptly. “Remedy” starts with the leads teasing and the playing glimmering, combusting as the hammers drop. The low end feels muddy and ugly, the guitars open and wash over you, and the leads leave everything in ash.

“Metamorphosis” opens with winds blowing and acoustics setting in, beginning a slow burn that stretches your muscles. The humidity picks up as the guitars hit a spark, eerie speaking gets into your cells, and barked howls punish as the darkness dissolves in noise. “Order as Law” immediately goes off, menacing and clobbering, lurching hard into your safety. Trudging terror meets with layered guitars and atmosphere, the vocals blister, and everything ends in madness. “Protection” pounds away as harsh growls smash into you, the playing eventually going for your neck. Sludgy power and blistering mud combine and gum up the gears, the riffs stick to your bones, and the leads flood with melodic waves. “Hunger Strike” just melts as the pace demolishes, the guitars shimmer, and the nastiness increases. The pace becomes unruly, blasting worlds apart, and the vocals smother as the final drops soak into the earth. Closer “Hallucination” has a psychedelic edge and a D-beat drive, chugging and knifing through bone. Spacious guitars swim as blistering soloing explodes, the tempered pace increases the humidity, and the terror bleeds away.

It’s hard to imagine there is anyone alive untouched by mental struggles and the will to always find a way to excel, but it can crash down on you, which is what Hive’s devastating “Spiritual Poverty” sounds like. The band’s aggressive yet melodic hardcore has heavy metallic edges and keeps you buried under their weight through these nine tracks. This is a punisher, a record that gives off the fumes of stress and pain and translates that into this vicious document.

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