Release Date: April 26th, 2011
Label: Rise Records
Website: None available
Metalcore is often a genre of a music that is overflowing with bands attempting to force their mix of crunching riffs, chugging breakdowns and clean cut choruses upon an unsuspecting and unwilling public. However, fortunately for Texas’ Memphis May Fire, it is also a genre of music that is in high demand, and when it is done as well as these boys do it, there really is no need to listen to anything else within the genre.
‘The Hollow’ picks up from where their recent EP ‘Between The Lies’ left off, as they tear straight into brilliant opener; ‘The Sinner’. From this opening cut of crushing mayhem, it is apparent that the band has abandoned the southern rock meets post-hardcore sound that the band had made their trademark. However, some elements of this sound are not gone entirely from their sound, as they still pack swirling guitars and clean vocals that can twist and turn the tempo of any song. It is clear that in this transition of sound the band has not lost their ear for a big, hooking riff or chorus as songs like ‘The Deceived’ and ‘The Haunted’ pack both of these things.
Whilst this album doesn’t really bring anything new to the table musically, throughout the band do experiment with the sound, using innovative and cleverly placed synthesizers that add to the overall tone of the album. The clever symphonic keyboards on sure to be fan favourite ‘The Commanded’ show how innovative the band can actually be. However, there desire to be innovative can sometimes be somewhat off putting, for example the stutter/delay that they put over Matty Mullin‘s already occasionally muffled vocals doesn’t always help their cause.
Not every song here is as good as the previous one though, songs like ‘The Unfaithful’ and ‘The Reality’ can become dull and repetitive, and with the latter packing the most underwhelming chorus on the entire album it is a shame. However, ‘The Redeemed’ closes the album in better fashion, providing the band with a platform to kick off from next time.
Ultimately, ‘The Hollow’ is a good album whilst you’re listening to it. After the 42 minutes spent pleasuring your ears with its sound, the album becomes lost in a sea of bands that sound exactly the same. Whilst the band hasn’t lost its ear for a big riff or soaring chorus, the album itself lacks a memorable chorus (perhaps with the exception of the first song) which is where this album falls short of any predeceasing works.
Written by Oliver Thompson