Brick By Brick return. Quickly. Gargantuan rhythms and riffs are at the forefront of Hive Mentality to compliment a deluge of furious lyrics. Brick By Brick’s tight as hell delivery is bombarded with double bass kicks.
Ray Mazzola’s (Full Blown Chaos) commanding vocal performance shows how honed these guys have become with an increase in writing and performing over the last five years. After three albums in ten years (2004 – 2014), now they have released three killer LPs in just four years (2015–2019). The momentum with Ray is vividly and viciously apparent. After being on Eulogy and Fast Break!, The band is teamed with Upstate Records out of their hometown of Troy NY for Hive Mentality.
Hive Mentality kicks off with a title track. Unapologetically violent and deadly serious, Mike Valente (guitarist/founder) and crew start this bitch off with a proclamation of resistance. Negative and enraged lyrics espouse street survival and decry the lemmings who are content to shuffle along blindly. “Bad Sign” and “Toe to Toe” encompass fast thrash parts and mid-tempo chugs and of course, belligerent breakdowns. The “Toe to Toe” one especially shines with some great bass work from Andy Parsons pushed up in the mix.
Speaking of the mix, Jason Bourdeau (Overit Media; Albany, NY) produced this expertly and lets all components play to their strengths. The drumming (check the footwork and the cymbal placement on “Battleground”) is phenomenal throughout. The commanding presence of James Muller’s dynamic arsenal is the propulsion. Valente’s leads are swift and piercing but never indulgent, implemented to add flavor, not steal the spotlight.
Hive Mentality also boasts cool guest spots as a fun addition here fresh for 2019. An oldie, “In the Ruins,” is resurrected with Vincent Bennet from The Acacia Strain. Tony Foresta (Municipal Waste/Iron Reagan) blesses a drinking tale of melee on the heavy trash track “Bar is Open,” So you KNOW it rules. Jessica Pimental (Alekhine’s Gun) rants on the opener to rattle “The Matrix.” Hive Mentality closes with two covers; Skid Row’s “Slave to the Grind” and Motorhead’s classic “Iron Fist,” which is borrowed from the spectacular Damaged Cases Motorhead Tribute, a compilation also on Upstate Records.
Brick By Brick continue and exceed their work of the last few years. Mastered by the legend Alan Douches, (West West Side Music NY) is undoubtedly another reason this beast sounds so nasty. Heavy as concrete thunder slaps, Brick By Brick expand on their thrash metal copulating with beatdown hardcore, clean, thick, and unrelenting, Hive Mentality garners all the proper adjectives: brutal, savage, crushing. Get ready to dance hard or die.