Hailing from Springfield, MA Hivebane have hit us with their first full length album, 'Collider' released March 31, 2023. The album was produced by Anthony John and mixed and mastered by Jim Fogarty, who has worked with Killswitch Engage and All That Remains.
Calm down metalheads. If you like it really heavy with screaming vocals and growls, then this album is not for you. However, I'm not fooled and I know you all have a soft side, so you may enjoy this rock album when your metal kindred spirits aren't around. Live a little and give it a listen. For those of you who like pure unadulterated rock, then get your ear buds ready.
If you live in western Massachusetts, then you may have heard of (or seen) Sage King, because he has been playing his guitar and singing in area establishments since he was 14. Local rockers may also remember guitarist, Anthony John, from Gaiah.
From what I understand, Anthony was out one night and heard Sage singing and decided that he "had to make music with this kid!" They then connected over similar tastes in music and formed Hivebane back in 2017. After about 5 years of writing together, they were joined by the captivating percussion of Nathan Paul on drums, with John doing triple duty on guitar, bass, and vocals, and King taking on the frontman duties, belting out heartfelt lyrics.
Hivebane, self admittedly "does not fit into any one particular box but rather chooses to live outside it altogether. " The advantage to that is, it substantially broadens their fan base. I've been to several of their live shows and have seen them do acoustic sets at restaurants, unplugged shows at theaters, right on up to full electric concerts at rock venues.
Speaking of not fitting in the box, 'Collider' kicks off with "The Pain," which is one of the harder rocking tracks on the album. The lyrics ask us, "Are we just machines in some recalculated reality, unhuman but still breathing, start thinking for yourself!" That makes you reflect, doesn't it?
If you are familiar with Hivebane, you may have heard “Shed My Skin," a song about avoiding one’s own destiny, that was previously recorded on Hivebane's unplugged album 'Prologue' released October, 2018. On 'Collider' this tune takes on a whole new life with full supporting electric instrumentation.
One of the things that I Iove about Sage's voice is the way he can get real soft and melancholy then throw that rare deep anger growl at the right moment of the song. "Over and Over," is one song that showcases the range of King's vocals, as he describes a toxic relationship that needs to end. In a previous review I described him as having the voice of an angel. Don't let that fool you! He also has a scream that could wake the dead, knowing just when to use it, but never overdone. This is most evident in the fourth track, "Does It Always." Sage has his own sound that can withstand any tempo and given range. No one has a voice that sounds anything like him, making him uniquely recognizable. Truly a gift to have!
"Unsung" is a darker track written as if he is speaking to a friend or family member that has committed suicide. You will "live on in a song and you will not be unsung," he promises, tearing at the listener's heartstrings. A song I'm sure everyone can relate to.
"Playing With Fire" and "Tired Eyes" have upbeat melodies and are most catchy, as I found myself easily singing along to the choruses.
This 11 song album is packed with crisp guitar riffs that wail with melody and authority when necessary, driving bass, topped with the heartfelt lyrics. 'Collider' is a true testament to how the right riffs and relatable lyrics can be the ultimate formula for a rock album.
Do you wonder why they chose the title 'Collider'? When you take a look at the album cover, it's pretty obvious. However, dig deeper into the thought provoking lyrics and lose yourself in the tantalizing music, as Hivebane takes you on an emotional ride where the heart and mind collide.
"Sometimes the heart doesn't agree with the mind, what's important is that YOU should know when to compromise, when to let YOUR mind win and when to let YOUR heart decide." -- quote by Abhishek Tiwari
If I piqued your interest, then Hivebane will be having a Vinyl Release Party at The Divine Theater at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke, MA on Saturday, July 8, 2023. The event and ticket details can be found here:
Hope to see you there! If not, you can steam the full album on Spotify and follow Hivebane at https://www.facebook.com/hivebane
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