Two reviews from me in one day? I’m in rareform. Coming out of Dallas, Texas, Hollowed Out is probably the heaviest band I’ve reviewed so far. Their debut release, “Life Among the Lifeless” is an absolute banger. I have grown jaded when it comes to breakdowns over the years, but Hollowed Out have given me appreciate for them.
Heavy Hardcore is a very crowded genre. There are so many bands that call themselves heavy hardcore, that it is easy to get lost in the mix. Hollowed Out have a much darker feel than most other bands I have heard in the genre. They mix all the good stuff from beatdown, old school deathcore, and hardcore music. This blend of sound results in an insanely venomous, angry band.
The intro track reminds me of old deathcore intro tracks: a big breakdown accompanied by some movie clip or something like that. The breakdown is groovy as hell and doesn’t seem to get old even though it is over a minute long. You can tell just from the tone of the opener that you are in for an intense ride. The following track “Love Letter” picks up the pace with a really groovy riff that has a great bounce to it. The band is very good at switching between fast paced, deathcore inspired riffs that are accompanied by blast beats straight into open, heavy as fuck breakdowns that come without warning. My favorite part of this track is when the vocalist says “I WANT TO SET THIS WORLD ON FIRE”. From there on out, the song is a brutal mix of catchy two step riffs interchanged with slow, choppy breakdowns.
Following suit, “Bombshell” begins with a bouncy groove reminiscent of bands like King Conquer. Later in this song, Hollowed Out really flex their hardcore muscle when the bass player lays down a sick bass line before the rest of the band jumps back in. There are plenty of stomp around parts in this song to encourage moshers to go insane. The songs on a heavy note with a slow, bouncy breakdown and flows right into one of my favorite tracks on the album.
“No Relation” keeps the theme of the rest of the album with constant and abrupt tempo changes and interchangeable two step and breakdown moments. The vocalist spits out some of the most pissed off lyrics that match the music thrown down by the rest of the band. There is a really choppy, fast tempo breakdown at the end of this song that is fucking sick.
The last two songs wrap up the album nicely. “8 Days in California” has a much more sludgy feel than the rest of the songs on the album. It only last for a brief moment. The band continues to do what they have proven to be very good at and transition between different styles and tempo changes near flawlessly. I really enjoyed the back up screaming in this song. Something about high pitched yells get me really pumped. The final song sends this album out on a high note with a vicious breakdown/riff where the guitar players ring their notes out. The song picks up the pace just to slam another bone crushing breakdown.
Hollowed Out is a great band in a genre where many great bands get overlooked. It is refreshing to see a band with so many different stylistic elements execute their sound so well. All of the parts they write have great impact in each song. The breakdowns hit insanely hard because of how expertly they switch up tempos. I would recommend this band to anybody into heavy hardcore, or just heavy music in general. Listening to this album flows so well, by the time the last song rings out, I was left asking for more and hitting the repeat button.
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