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Hallow Point – Blacklight

Hallow Point
Blacklight
by Jack Lynch at 24 October 2019, 2:18 AM

I was somewhat surprised to find out that St. Louis based Metalcore band HALLOW POINT had only released one EP before their debut album “Blacklight”. It shouldn’t be understated that my initial reaction upon hearing the first few tracks off “Blacklight” had me looking deep into the band’s discography expecting to see a list of some sort. Nope, not these guys.  They have just one, “Beyond Our Name”, released in 2017. So, saying there is more to this group than just a clever band name is as complimentary as I can be without getting too corny. Beyond that, what they’ve crafted in their inauguration to feature length is something bound to expand their reach.

HALLOW POINT wastes no time making a statement, opening the gates with the album title track “Blacklight”. It’s a blistering song from start to finish, firing on all cylinders as if in some   masochistic race with itself. The rhythm and lead guitar work from Aaron Chambers and Bill Brynda is on full display as each man juggle back and forward before splintering the middle of the song with a frenzy of speed bursts.  Tony Milson’s vocals power through and ride each wave as it comes, while Preston Seymour’s drum’s and Brandon Bollinger keep the chaos grounded. It’s a hell of an opening song, worthy of the title track, and great introduction to a band I’d never heard before. Echoing this same no-holds-bar tone is “I’m Alive”, a bludgeoning tune that’ll have you nodding your head to the loading of a shotgun and screams of “I’m alive”. Now that’s a violent, and shocking addition to any song, but it’s handled artfully and jaw dropping moments like that are all part of the ride. When you get to “Relentless” there’s a shift to some clean, catchy vocal work. You’re going to feel a little bit of ERRA or VEIL OF MAYA here, which you can take or leave depending on your tastes. Even if you find yourself on the latter end of the spectrum, there’s still no denying the solid framework of the songwriting. The same can be said for “Aftermath”, “My Resistance”, and “Polarity”, as each song is injected with calmer sensibilities, but balanced in such a way that things mend together well. The final track “Field of Flames” is perhaps the most textured of all, pulling together everything the band does well into one epic song. It’s a heavy outro, littered with plenty of “singy song” moments, that still manages to surprise with some great solo work soldered into the middle. A little piano tune takes you on your way and what you’re left with a feeling you get from all good albums, a need to listen to it again.

Now, I usually try to give a paragraph of some negatives because at the end of the day very little things in this world are perfect. Not mentioning any negatives does a disservice to everyone, the band, the listener, and the whole entire world. I will say it’s a bit hard with this one, because my expectations weren’t very high to begin with, and I was surprised by the talent of the musicians.  But this album isn’t breaking new ground, and you could draw comparisons between HALLOW POINT’s sound and dozens of other bands out there now. Beyond this there are moments where heavy screams and catchy choruses shift in such a way that it feels formulaic. If you’re looking for more experimentation you aren’t going to find it here. However, as a debut full-length metalcore album, it hits all the right marks and is well worth a listen.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Blacklight
2. Life’s Ghost
3. Relentless
4. I’m Alive
5. Wasteland
6. Aftermath
7. Polarity
8. My Resistance
9. Beg for Suicide
10. Seas of Dust
11. Fields of Flame
Lineup:
Tony Milson – Vocals
Aaron Chambers - Lead Guitar
Bill Brynda - Rhythm Guitar
Brandon Bollinger - Bass
Preston Seymour – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 22 September 2020
 

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