It’s funny to think that throughout the vast majority of a persons life, or atleast growing up, they’re told that patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait. As people age and enter adulthood, most people seem to lose the concept of patience, wanting things essentially before they’re unveiled or available — then again, the constant on-demand and immediacy that modern day society has brought forth doesn’t help with that either. With the release of their debut EP //Redefine in 2015, British melodic metalcore outfit Our Hollow, Our Home quickly exploded in popularity with a no-holds barred style that brought forth brutal, bone-crushing breakdowns and screams and balanced them out with melodic, soaring choruses and set-pieces. Since that time, the anticipation for more music from the band has only been building and now, the release of their debut album Hartsick is finally upon fans around the world and is a showcase in everything a metalcore fan desires, resulting in what should be a surefire hit.
Getting straight to the point, it has to be stated that Hartsick is an absolute juggernaut of an album, especially in the metalcore realm, and despite its’ early in the year release, should easily wind up on many end of the year top-ten lists. Our Hollow, Our Home display a ridiculous leap in maturity in songwriting and show that growth immediately upon hitting play. Aside from an occasional dull moment in spots, nearly every track ends up hooking its teeth into listeners from beginning to end, throughout the entirety of the album. This is enhanced by the fact that each song forges its own identity without ever becoming overly reliant on certain stylistic choices or on repetitive elements, which is once again a very impressive feat. To accomplish this, the band utilize their core of contrasting vocal styles impeccably as both Connor Hallisey (screams/growls) and Tobias Young (guitar/cleans) compliment the others style beautifully. Tobias’ singing is melodic and soaring without overreaching or coming across offsetting to the deep, brooding and defiant screams that Connor offers up. This vocal presentation and seamless ability to transition from brutal to melodic and then back to brutal is easily one of the albums highlights.
The other aspect of the album that is brilliantly done lies within the instrumentation and the overall composition and arrangement. While many metalcore bands that opt for the heavier side of the spectrum tend to rely on constant chugging, downtuned guitars and heavy, bonecrushing breakdowns, Our Hollow, Our Home opted for a more melodic and thought-out approach to Hartsicks’ underlying musicality. This instrumentation moves swiftly and harmoniously with the vocal styles, further playing up the contrasting styles found throughout the whole of the record. Don’t be fooled, there are plenty of chugs and breakdowns throughout the album, but the band manages to throw in sweeping leads and blistering riffs that help accent the dynamic vocal duo. All of this is backed up by well arranged keys and orchestral elements that help tie together the album into a nice neat metalcore package that in its entirety doesn’t tread much new water, but is ultimately one of the more refreshing albums that the genre has output.
Other than straight up saying that we immensely love this album (we do), Hartsick is in our humble opinion, a metalcore fans dream album. From the soaring choruses that clash with brutal, sometimes spine-tingling screams, the anthemic and heartfelt lyrics or the fantastic mixture of orchestral elements interspersed with grooving and high energy instrumentation, Our Hollow, Our Home have left everything on the recording room floor with their debut. Whether it’s the blistering “Wormswood”, the melodic “Throne to the Wolves” or the hard hitting “Karmadillo” this is the album that should catapult them to stardom and inevitably help make them a household name.