There’s something to be said about where you come from, how even different parts of the same country can quite drastically differ from one another, almost making it feel like you’re not really one and the same. In music, our tastes tend to reflect where we’re from more than most other artistic endeavors. Texans by and large are conformed into a group of country loving folk while the west coast is more on the pop and edm flavor train. It’s the rust belt, the states that have really been through the ups and downs in life that tend to really pump out musicians who lean on the heavier side of music that is exported from the US. Hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Hollowfront are one such export and with their new release Still Life, push the pedal to the floor and don’t let up, giving fans a heavy, unrelenting 7-track journey.
Hollow Front bring the intensity and power that would leave many envious. The band kicks things into overdrive with album opener “Don’t Fall Asleep.” The song begins with some haunting piano keys before quickly descending into chaos. What is impressive about Hollow Front is they find ways to stay versatile without relying too much on one thing. The band doesn’t rely too heavily on singing and in fact hardly ever use them. When they do employ singing its more a rough around the edges style that still oozes heaviness. Metalcore fans will be pleased to know that they are plenty of chugs and breakdowns to be found on the record. While the band employs these familiar techniques they also use a variety of guitar leads and riffs to mix things up without ever falling into the troupe of monotony. Another strength of the record is the bands vocal presence. The screaming on the record is absolutely brutal and is sure to open up some violent mosh pits. Vocalist Tyler Tate skates between bellowing lows to shrieking mids and is absolutely ferocious throughout the record. Songs such as “Dissect Me” and “Backbone” see Tate really shine as front-man of this 4 man wrecking crew.
From bone crushing breakdowns, sludgy riffs and bellow screams, Still Life delivers the punishment and brutality through musicality, but creates a unique life of its’ own by being a reflection of the people who make up the band with themselves being a reflection of the environment they grew up in. Much like how Australia has become synonymous with incredible progressive musical stylings, the rust belt continues its dominance of the metalcore and post hardcore genres with Hollow Front now being another band joining the fray and delivering an album that you should be sure not to miss.