Thantifaxath Plunge into the Depths on 'Hive Mind Narcosis'

BY Mark TremblayPublished Jun 2, 2023

Hive Mind Narcosis is an album of dueling identities. On the one hand, the album features bleak and cold elements of black metal. On the other, there are sublime moments of melodic clarity that cut through the noise. These two contrasting sides of Thantifaxath create one of the more satisfying experiences one can have with black metal music. Hive Mind Narcosis is a psychedelic take unlike any other in the black metal genre; Thantifaxath aim to break down the stereotypes of the genre and come up with a sound that is uniquely their own. 
The band's stand-out moments are usually highlighted by guitar riffs. Unlike most black metal, the iconic guitar moments on Hive Mind Narcosis are ones that create melodic passages — whether it's the lead on "Solar Witch" or the deescalating riffs in "The Lost Wisdom of Wolves" the riffs are what lead Thantifaxath's brand of black metal into different sub-genres. The guitar riffs have an unsettling quality that weaves between major and minor modes all throughout the album; from the very first notes of "Solar Witch" to the very end of "Mind of the Sun" this balancing act is always present for the listener, giving off an illusion of uneasy motion in the music. 

Perhaps the most standout riffs on the album are those on album closer "Mind of the Sun," which achieves Wagner Ring Cycle-levels of grandiose. The band's approach to riffs and composition create a signature sound that separates them effortlessly from their contemporaries. 

The atmosphere throughout Hive Mind Narcosis is massive — it creates a great sense of dread and depression, with its high point arriving in the psychedelic nightmare of "Sub Lilith Tunnels." The song then melts into a scorching wall of feedback in preparation for the epic final act that is "Mind of the Sun." A lot of black metal music describes dread and depression; Hive Mind Narcosis makes you feel it. 
Hive Mind Narcosis is one of the more inspiring albums in heavy music to come out this year. The effortless blend of black metal, classical music and psychedelic soundscapes continues the upward trajectory of Thantifaxath's music, showcasing where their sound might be taken next. 
(Dark Descent)

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