Monday, 22 May 2017

The Ditch And The Delta - Hives In Decline (Album Review)

Release date: May 12th 2017. Label: Battleground Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Hives In Decline – Tracklisting

1.Hives In Decline 06:55
2.Fuck On Asphalt 05:57
3.Sleeping Dogs 04:41
4.Dry Land 02:01
5.Till Body Quits 04:44
6.Mud 04:57
7.Dread Spectacle 05:36


Elliot Secrist-Guitars, samples, vocals
Charles Bogus-Drums
Kory Quist-Bass, vocals


The Ditch And The Delta are a band I hadn't heard of before. They've been compared to a wave of different legendary artists within the Sludge Metal field. Though I feel on their new album - Hives In Decline - the band creates their own unique sound. Parts Noise Rock, Sludge, Doom and Post-Metallic sounds. Hives In Decline is built upon math-rock like progression and that allows the band to create heavy melodic sludgier moments with fantastic punk/metal vocals.

Opening track - Hives In Decline - is a confident and self-assured slice of pure punk/noise-rock driven sound. The song has moments of psychedelic sludge/doom based grooves that remind me of Kowloon Walled City in parts that are merged with the post-theatrical sounds of Neurosis. The album has a gloomy and despairing outlook on life and it all starts with this great song.

Second track – Fuck On Asphalt - sees the band opt for a more Sludge Rock driven sound. It's a more grown-up sound compared to the opening track and the thumping bass lines add an unsettling feel with The Ditch And The Delta delivering a more post-punk sound especially with the vocals. The album may sound and feel under-produced at first, though with a few more listens of the album, you soon start to become more aware of the murky atmosphere the band have created on the album. The different genres and sounds held within the album have hidden meaning that you may miss the first time you listen to the album.

The album then returns to a more traditional Sludge Metal sound with songs such as: Sleeping Dogs, Dry Land and Till Body Quits - carrying on the expert sludge/doom delivery of the opening two tracks. Hives In Decline ranks as an uncompromising blend or pure rock/metal aggression and this band has a lot to say.

It's a shame the album only lasts for thirty five minutes or so. As the album suddenly ends. I wanted a couple of more songs from The Ditch And The Delta. Maybe I'm being slightly greedy there. The Ditch And The Delta aren't afraid to experiment with their sound and matching their noise/sludge hybrid sound with moments of Americana which you can hear on the excellent song - Dry Land.

This album is already starting to win plaudits within the Doom/Sludge Metal world and it's not hard to see why. The Ditch And The Delta have delivered a hard-hitting and uncompromising album that packs an almighty punch.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Earsplit PR for the promo. Hives In Decline is available to buy now via Battleground Records on CD/DD/Vinyl.