Hollow is a new metalcore band rising up in St. Louis with their debut album, Home Is Not Where The Heart Is on June 9th. Drummer Chris Richey was gracious enough to let us get some ears on with the new record before its official release. Strap in, this review is gonna be almost as chaotic as the record.
Dropping in with adrenaline-pumping tracks like “Coward King,” “The American Dream,” and “Disconnect,” Hollow let us know they want to start on a high note. These songs are immediately comparable to earlier Miss May I, which is baller for anyone that knows good metalcore when they hear it. Vocals are almost identical to those of Levi Benton, but the instrumentals absolutely demolish anything that Miss May I has ever produced. Halfway through “Coward King,” you’re greeted with some polish, well-placed clean vocals that blend perfectly with the atmosphere the band sets. At this point, it’s clear this record is gonna be a load of fun if it keeps up this way. “Anomaly” is the only single the band has released for this album, and it absolutely crushes with speed vocals and bass drops, making this a highlight of HINWTHI. The bass drops almost feel weird at first, but they’re overall successful. Not many bands I’ve ever heard have been able to pull off the electronic metalcore sound apart from earlier Palisades. “Too Far Gone” is a softer, easier listen, which is always welcome with this side of metalcore. You can tell from the lyrical content that the band was aiming for a more emotional hitter. But Hollow doesn’t believe in bullshit, as they toss you back into the crazy, circle-pitting sound of “Delta F508” immediately after “Too Far Gone.” This song really showcases both vocalists’ range. The cleans are especially dynamic in a way most bands miss, adding depth to the chorus, but are brought down by some repetitive placement.
Overall, “Delta F508” starts the second half of HINWTHI strong and you can see the work the guys put into this record. You can almost feel the sweat dripping off their foreheads recording this highlight of new age metalcore. “No Offense” starts out with a weird acoustic guitar lick before jumping into the electric guitar, but that opening almost fools you into thinking you’re in for a country track. Thankfully, that is not the case, as “No Offense” has the heaviest beatdown-styled breakdowns on the record. I can see the knockouts in the pit from here. The acoustic come back toward the end of the track, but at this point, it’s pretty cool. Hollow doesn’t give a fuck: they are here to make some noise and break some faces. “Tonguespeak” is a mostly instrumental track, although there are some cleans in the latter half. Personally, I think if you’re listening to metal for the vocals, you’re doing it wrong.
“The Wicked” and “AlphaOmega” are both well-placed tracks that I could see totally ripping live, although I feel as if “AlphaOmega” is definitely the most generic track you’ll find on the album. It feels lyrically shallow, and while not a bad song by any means, it’s just not a banger like the rest of the album. As a side note, “alpha” and “omega” are a bit overused. The album redeems itself with outro track “Null,” probably one of the better outro tracks we’ve seen this year, right next to Lorna Shore’s “Flesh Coffin” closing the album of the same name.
Hollow is making moves and have potential to rise up. Buy this album and support the guys so they can afford to keep going and get the recognition they deserve. If you’re living in St. Louis and you weren’t planning on going to their album release show on June 9th, you’re truthfully fucking up. Get with the movement. Hollow is coming for the world, hard.
- Dakota G.