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The Ditch And The Delta - Hives In Decline album review

Dynamic noise/sludge with some familiar sources

The Ditch And The Delta’s full-length debut, engineered by SubRosa’s Andy Patterson, pitches noise-rock’s rhythmic angularity against sludge’s molten grooves to great effect. With its rolling riffs, and sharp lead work from Iceburn’s Gentry Densley, the Red Fang-ed Fuck On Asphalt steals the show early on through its balance of musical heft and hooks. The title track burns like Neurosis’s cleansing fire and Till Body Quits churns through mathcore’s complexities yet maintains monster low-end. Elsewhere, the penultimate Mud bears its incisors like an Amphetamine Reptile release before shape-shifting into Botch’s more expansive flashes. The only difficulty is that the resulting ‘spot-the-inspiration’ game can be distracting, and the Kelly/von Till vocal-purging is too approximated at times. But when you merge designs from some of the best acts in metal and do so cohesively, the potential for future individuality remains high.