On Hollow Ground Album: Blood Is Blood Release: 17th July 2020
The five men from Leeds are back with intent. On Hollow Ground have always impressed with their blend of hard hitting rhythms and melodic undertones. But they have hit their stride with this latest record.
The band gave us a taste in Our Lives when this track was released as a single a couple of months ago. This is the first track on this album, and it is a great encapsulation of the variety awaiting the listener as the album progresses. Ferocious verse sections that get the blood pumping and move into beautiful catchy clean choruses. Rounded off by ambient beats on interludes and a pulsating breakdown. These elements reappear throughout the album in the most creative fashion.
Broken and WMD (Wasteman Down) are the most groove rhythm oriented songs on the record, and are composed of similar components. Those hard hitting rhythms show up in a massive way and the vocals follow and suit with powerful chants that makes for a good time rocking out. The electronic melodies are layered over that had my heart completely racing.
People Never Learn and Shut Down show a lot of hip-hop influence that blended with chugs and brutal vocals which gives us fantastically crafted nu-metal style of the music. The lead guitar works on these songs are very atmospheric and give life to the tracks, setting up great drops and some guttural parts. Although these songs mentioned so far don’t make as much use of the band’s melodic prowess. They masterfully insert snippets of those elements to round out already impactful pieces in a very tasteful manner.
The title track Blood is Blood is worth its own mention. This track is going straight on my playlist. Beyond the brutal verses, the catchy hooks, and machine gun drums – the song is just a lot of fun. The off key piano breakdown is evocative as hell… literally. It projects an unsettling calm feeling neatly wrapped in a throbbing breakdown. I can’t stress enough how much I enjoy this song.
Surviving Life is on the complete other side of the spectrum as an interlude track on the album, but really an intro to the next song. Surviving Life is all melody emphasised by captivating female vocals almost akin to what you would hear on a chill-step song, but clearly building up to something. Enter …And Getting By. Another superb song that captures the essence of On Hollow Ground so well. Building on the melody set up by Surviving Life, it introduces epic rhythmic parts with energetic leads on top. The vocals switch from intense screaming back into the chorus hook. That, as any good hook should, will definitely be stuck in my head for the next couple of days.
Even Though is the outro track to the record. Since it has been such an incredible journey throughout, I was curious what the send-off track would deliver, and I was pleasantly surprised. A slow atmospheric cushion to rest your weary neck after all that explosive energy from the rest of the record.
The Blood Is Blood album in its entirety is an awesome composition that I highly recommend. It is short and sweet, and jam packed with treats.
– Franco Rootman
For Fans of: Born Of Osiris, Emmure, Veil Of Maya