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              In December of 2015, word began to spread quickly around the internet of a fresh project brewing in the Chicagoland area. A group of like-minded musicians well known around the local music scene banded together with the goal of creating music blistering and relentless in sound. Making their first public announcement late last year, the birth of deathcore/djent act HIVE was official. Approaching their music with a dueling 8-string assault, HIVE deliver their songs with punctilious power and brutal intentions. After months of writing/rehearsing and the release of their self titled EP finally coming to fruition, HIVE are prepared to take the metal scene by storm.

Generating four tracks of obliterating lunacy, the self titled EP gets progressively heavier and more complex with each song. Fusing together various elements of djent and deathcore, HIVE create an intensifying experience for extreme fans of the aforementioned genres. The debut release employs the use of low-pitch guitar tones and polyrhythmic nuances. Just imagine a head on collision of The Acacia Strain and Humanity’s Last Breath, but with more guttural vocal action.

                Breaking this EP down, we begin to uncover the many layers that formulate the self titled debut. Starting off with a short ascending string introduction, “Leviathan,” comes blasting in with chunky palm mutes and penetrating double bass. A variation of low tonality and a crisp display of powerful patterns provide this track with plenty of bounce. Beginning with quite the assertive riff comes my personal favorite, “Mental Lacerations.” The second track offers a much more technical approach full of impressive percussive switch-ups and intriguing transitions, which lead into a crushing death metal groove midway through. Vocalist Juan Medina’s atrocious lyrics about performing a self lobotomy and drilling a hole into his head to rid undesired thoughts, are undeniably twisted in taste. “Defiled,” kicks off with a shattering breakdown, setting the pace for this trudging track. Although the slowest track of the four, the same amount of energy is translated through. Ominous sound samples cut through the mix throughout most of the song, bringing us into our fourth and final track, “Sapience.” Maintaining the same level of heaviness and playing around with some guitar effects, the final track brings us the “riff of the release” about a minute and a half into the track. Something you surely will want to check out for yourself.

This self titled EP has an overall forbidding atmosphere, abundant in aggression and thick in tone. HIVE have proven their ability to produce a well written EP and show that they are no amateurs. This is a strong debut release with bulletproof production from the ambitious group of instrumentalists and fans of this style will have no choice but to blast this.

HIVE - HIVE (EP) (January 5th, 2017)


- Sean McLennan


HIVE is:

Juan Medina-Vocals

Mike Shanahan-Guitar

Pierre Worth-Guitar 

Shady Hamid-Bass

Erik Shirley-Drums


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               With the month of December in full effect and darkness now descending at an earlier hour, the feeling of the frigid cold brings on dismal moods here in the Midwest. Unbearable Chicago winds deliver a frozen sensation to all who stand before them. For me personally, this is the perfect time to embrace candlelight and seek out metal of the Scandinavian kind. Something that can connect to the way I am feeling and expel that darkness from my body. But why stray that far away from home? Emerging out of Chicago’s grim sector, black metal outfit Terranaut have presented us with their re-recorded/re-released first full length album Native Sorrow. The re-recording of Native Sorrow offers the addition of Lisa Jablonski on vocals and an overall improvement of production quality.

An album possessing the same Nordic traits as some of the regional classics, Native Sorrow takes you through misanthropic twists and turns. Sticking to themes of paganism, spiritualism, pre-colonization and urbanization, the album title speaks loudly for itself. Through their music, however, Terranaut provoke certain sentiments that compliment the overall crestfallen appeal of this album. Beginning with the enthralling entrance of “Mystic March,” Terranaut dash their way through fast picking melodies and galloping percussion. The screeching howls of newfound singer Lisa Jablonski, lay atop the rapid strumming of strings and Hellhammer style drum fills. Moving forward comes the bone-chilling and beautiful, “Ancient Trees” which is easily my favorite track off Native Sorrow. Haunting and spirited, it produces some of the most memorable riffs on this album and has very strong composure. Manipulating their sound at times to produce thrashing notes of speed in tracks like “Mound Builder” and “Red Earth,” Terranaut also create glum and forbidding softness in tracks like “Without Wolves.” Coming to a close, the title track “Native Sorrow” has ebb and flow magnetism woven throughout the entire song. Clean guitars and the calming sounds of the fife; or flute, intertwine with high intensity instrumentation resulting in a battle between subtle and harsh sounds. This is a must own album for any fan of black metal, so head over to their bandcamp and give it a listen right away!

Terranaut - Native Sorrow (August 1, 2016)


- Sean McLennan


Terranaut is:
Lisa Jablonski- Vocals
Maciej Krolicki - Guitar
Nieko Rodriguez - Guitar
Patrick Okroj - Bass
Troy Hoff - Drums
Tony Hicks - Fife, Tribal Drum


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