Given the title of Hive Mind’s latest LP, along with its associated cover art, you might be able to discern just where Greh Holger plans to take his synthesizer-based drone/noise project — I’ll give you a hint: think of the most blissful, uplifting, and awe-inspiring music you’ve ever heard. Think of church music. Think of major scales. All signs point to Elemental Disgrace, set for release on October 25, being the complete opposite of all these things.
Spectrum Spools, a division of Editions Mego run by Emeralds’ John Elliott, has this to say on the subject: “No blisscapes to be found here. No soaring latched arpeggios, no cosmic vistas. Not a single melody. This is two sides of ancestral ruin in its clearest presentation. The brutality of the Earth and the harsh reality of all that it holds. Unknowable sounds — that of the dawn of Earth, or perhaps its demise. A swamp of chemicals and creatures left behind long after man has wiped himself away for good.” Well, Jesus. With a description like that, who needs Sylvia Plath poems?
Hyperbolic characterizations aside, Hive Mind occupies a place on the musical landscape for which I personally have a growing appreciation. For me, some of the most memorable albums of the last few years have ironically been ones for which there’s very little going on at the surface level. They’re devotions to subtlety in a world filled with obnoxiousness. They’re the fallen leaves of a maple tree being trampled by unconcerned passers-by. “My seventy trees/ Holding their gold-ruddy balls/ In a thick gray death-soup,/ Their million/ Gold leaves metal and breathless.” Oh, Sylvia!