Jan 2013 30

Eschaton Hive - Eschaton HiveEschaton Hive
Category: Industrial / Metal / Experimental
Album: Eschaton Hive
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: Blurring the boundaries that exist between genres, Eschaton Hive’s debut album provides a challenging and unique listen.


 

Australia’s Eschaton Hive appears to be hell bent on pushing the envelope. With a sound deeply rooted in industrial metal, the members of Eschaton Hive borrow elements from music far outside of their respective reach. Elements of thrash metal, drum & bass, funk, and even reggae are peppered throughout the album, amounting to an unusual melting pot of variety. Held together by pummeling beats, brutal guitar work, and harsh vocals, the album ultimately achieves its ultimate goal in being a devastatingly raw debut.

Within the first few moments of “Immanentize the Eschaton,” the album’s opening track, it becomes apparent that the band is out for blood. Jackhammer programming segues into an unrelenting cacophony of guitar and vocal violence that doesn’t let up for the remainder of the song, making this one of the most accessible and enjoyable cuts from the record. “Duck N Cover” continues the assault, but also introduces an irresistible dance floor element. With guitar work reminiscent of coldwave stalwart’s Chemlab, this is truly a standout track for the band. Unfortunately, the next two tracks, “Eschatonation” and “Deconstruction” attempt to follow the same path, but all too often crumble into an orgy of aural chaos, making it difficult to enjoy the natural progression of the album. The descent into the audio free-for-all is made possible by the uneven mix of these songs. There are some intriguing elements to be found, but they are buried beneath a wall of sound, rendering the songs ineffective at delivering a poignant message. The blunders of the previous tracks are largely forgiven, however, once the subdued drum & bass sounds of “Warpz[o]ne” begin. Planted in between songs that are a full on assault on the listener, “Warpz[o]ne” is a welcome respite from the insanity that surrounds it. The following track “Pandemic” eases the listener back into the album proper. The track features a clean vocal take that is an unexpected change from the vocal cord destruction that is present throughout and, quite frankly, one of the better risks that the band took.

The songs that follow are confounding at best. The second half of the record largely follows the formula that preceded it, with some fairly unexpected turns. “Zombie Attack Plan” features speedy verses that showcase slap bass elements that would sound more at home on a Red Hot Chili Peppers album. If that wasn’t strange enough, the track “Delusions of Adequacy (World Famous)” churns as a slow burning rocker before inexplicably breaking down to a reggae influenced bridge, from which the track (and the rest of the album) never recovers. The lone bright spot for the remainder of the album is found in “…And Then Til Now,” which is a moody and atmospheric track that the band achieves surprisingly well given the missteps that came before it. The album ends with a whimper with the ambient closing track “Rebirth.”

The debut offering from Eschaton Hive is an unbalanced listen. Partially, this can be attributed to the somewhat uneven mix of the record. In areas, the band itself is sharp, but the sheer volume and quantity of the presentation often leaves you overwhelmed. This, combined with the band’s tendency to introduce a variety of unusual stylistic shifts, leaves an unsatisfying and bizarre cloud hanging over the album as a whole. When the band sticks to what they know best, the results are staggering, but experimentation and presentation all too often derail the band from really connecting.
 
Track list:

  1. Immanentize the Eschaton
  2. Duck N Cover
  3. Eschatonation
  4. Deconstruction
  5. Warpz[o]ne
  6. Pandemic
  7. Zombie Attack Plan
  8. Accept Your Life
  9. Delusions of Adequacy (World Famous)
  10. Want.Need.Have
  11. 20 Million Guys
  12. …And Then Til Now
  13. Get Happy
  14. Im Ur Stalker
  15. Rebirth

 
Eschaton Hive MySpace http://www.myspace.com/eschatonhive
Eschaton Hive Facebook http://www.facebook.com/EschatonHive
Eschaton Hive Twitter https://twitter.com/EschatonHive
Juggernaut Services Website http://www.juggernautservices.com
Juggernaut Services Facebook http://www.facebook.com/juggernautservices
Juggernaut Services Bandcamp http://music.juggernautservices.com
 
2012-07-07
 
Ryan Brun (BrunBabyBrun)

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