RatHive is a instrumental doom metal band hailing from Bielefeld, Germany. This is the latest in a long list of releases. Following much of the same pattern of previous releases, this is a laid back, smooth guitar licks, and a slow and steady drum beat. There isn’t much else to say really, its extremely straight forward, and for those who enjoy long winded improvised instrumentals this might be something to check out.
Starting out, I gotta say I love the tone and the production of the over all release. Only sporting two tracks, both well over the ten minute mark, its almost like listening to a long creative exercise. You hear the ideas there. The guitar licks are smooth, heavy, and have a great all around vibe to it all. But, at times it almost feels like its lacking something a bit more. The drums, are fairly straight forward. Rarely deviating from the same beat, especially on the first track. Throw in a few fills and a couple of different cymbals in there and call it a day, really. The music’s main focus for sure are the guitars. And, honestly, if kept in the background of a dimly lit smoke session with you and some friends, especially with a black light and psychedelic posters all around, it’d almost be a shame to not have something like this playing.
I personally love these type of albums as its something very easy to keep on in the background as a loop. The first track Guiltis my favorite. I think its the most complete and has the most coherent song structure to it all. As I mentioned before, its clearly improvised. The ideas were there, and they must’ve decided to simply play it out and see where it leads them. Its for sure catchy, and would get stuck in my head in a loop all day for sure. But, its not the type of listen to sit down and give it your full attention as you’d be wanting for more. Especially towards the end, where I feel like they just gave up and ended the track. Its a little strange, and probably not for everyone, but I found my self enjoying it, and even joining along on my own bass, noodling away on it much like the guitarist.
The second track, Gratitude, is a bit harder to listen to. It starts out kinda cool, the drums slow down much more, and the guitars have this almost underwater effect to it, giving it a very heavy tone to it. Its continuing the same notes and rhythm from the first track. But what threw me off on this track was how the drums kept picking up speed and started to change up, which you’d think would be a good thing, but really doesn’t sound as good. Again, I think its just the lack of structure to it, and the production on the double bass kick towards the end was kind of hard to listen to.
All in all, its a solid album. I’ve found my self enjoying it, but I wouldn’t say its the strongest in RatHive’s catalog. Its great for putting on in the background and enjoying the all around vibe of the whole thing. If you’re expecting mind blowing instrumentation or a deep and philosophical concept to the whole thing, don’t bother. Its a solid easy listening, head bobbing album that gets the foot tapping and the creative juices flowing. Give it a shot if it sounds like your thing.