ASHBREATHER — Hivemind (review)

ASHBREATHER — Hivemind album cover Album · 2022 · Sludge Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
renkls
With results like this, it's hard to see why long form sludge metal isn't a more common venture. Granted, Ashbreather's sophomore album resembles a great deal of growth from their self-titled 2020 debut, which was a promising but unadventurous slice of sludge. But "Hivemind", their 2022 followup compounds hugely on those basic elements and exemplifies how long form songwriting works: the unwavering focus on concept and delivery.

In essence, a science fiction tale told in numerous voices through the medium of a sludge, progressive and psychedelic metal suite, "Hivemind" cautiously treads the line between diversity and fragmentation, merging its eleven parts close to seamlessly into a single thirty-seven minute journey.

Shifting between sludgy doom-like passages into noodling prog, droning ambience and just as quickly jumping out of it, each transition succeeds in keeping fresh and snappy just long enough before moving on. Often albums committed to a single long form concept are content to retread ideas with little to no variance, but Ashbreather has brought considerable maturity and depth to a not-so-commonplace album structure, and ultimately made a song that succeeds not only in being cohesive, but also being a genuine banger of a track that I will likely revisit in future quite often.
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Bosh66 wrote:
1 year ago
This is brilliant, renkls. Thanks for the review!
Tupan wrote:
1 year ago
Welcome back AGAIN, Renkls! This one seems very interesting

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