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Hollow World – Exanimate

Hollow World
by Jess at 09 August 2017, 11:59 AM

HOLLOW WORLD is a Melodic Death Metal band that hails from Australia. They surged on to the scene in 2012: Phoenix-ing out of the ashes of WYCHBURY HILL. Their debut EP “Beneath the Frozen Sky” was released in 2013. The band’s recognition grew as they stormed the Metal stages, supporting bands like “PSYCROPTIC, AVERSIONS CROWN, ROME, and BORIS THE BLADE”. They released their sophomore EP “The Wrath Kept Within” in 2015, with new vocalist Ben Roberts. The band then toured the rest of 2015 ending with an epic, supporting slot for NE OBLIVISCARIS in Melbourne. With that, they have recorded their debut full-length album “Exanimate” and released it in March 2017.  This album comes in with eleven tracks and a listening time of just over 41 minutes.

The opening track, “Agartha”, is an ominous organ intro with an ‘I’m about to go to battle and kick some ass’ feel. The organ takes a horn tone, almost Viking like. The drums and guitars come in and complete that cryptic feeling with incredible blast beats and a more muted melodic guitar. The bass is thick and helps create a discernable depth. There is a slight Black Metal feel to compliment the Death Metal in this almost two-minute hook and sink instrumental.

Defiling Paradise”, track two, comes in full force. The drums are intense. There is no other word for them here. The guitars rocket off into a space all their own. The rhythm is hard and fast. A solo rings out about mid-way through that showcases an even more complex track. There is a mixture of vocals. We have a deep guttural growl and a screamed vocal. Screamed vocals aren’t generally my style, but these are really good. Besides, the music is too good to be put off by the vocals too much anyway. The last few seconds of the track turn into a Progressive Alt Metal guitar that rounds it out nicely.

Track three, “Patient Zero”, is so full of bass I had to mention it. This is another track that has a Blackened Death Metal feel and completely soaked in bass goodness. There is some killer melody that oozes out of this track. The vocals here are intertwined with the music so much that they are used simply as in instrument. There is no extraneous noise, just a perfect concoction of Metal here.

In a ‘whoa whoa whoa’ moment, “Wildfire”, track five, comes in with an acoustic plucked guitar, that is completely different from what we’ve heard so far and has to be noted for its uncommon, but captivating presence. At 25 seconds in, the beast is released and we are back and rolling with a heavy, spit fireball sound. The melody reminds me a bit of IN FLAMES, with a faster, more hardcore drum line. This track explores and implements such technicality and differing elements, yet still produces a cohesive and structurally phenomenal track. This is hands down one of the best on the album for the simple fact that they implemented and executed so many elements perfectly.

Infect, Replace, Disintegrate”, track six, is my personal favorite on the album. The intro is strong and kind of reverts back to the album intro: in it’s sort of Viking style battle sound. While keeping the ambient sound through out the track we get some blasting drums, a thick bass line, and some amazing riffage from the guitars. This track is full to the brim with musicianship.

Track nine, “Everything Rots”, is intense, angry, and hard. It’s not as low as most of the other tracks on the album and it shows off hardcore riffs, fierce drumming (I’m surprised he still has arms), and melodies for days. The rhythm changes are met perfectly and the vocals are harsh and vivid.

The final track, “Exanimate”, comes in on fire. It is an annihilation of your ears. It is quick, destructive, and fatal. In the last minute or so, the guitars really show off with a crushing solo that, with the overall tone being harder and fast, stand out and take flight. This is the perfect mixture of depth and fluidity within a track.  The outro is a quick guitar slide and fade to end the cutthroat track and album.

HOLLOW WORLD’s “Exanimate” is a hard, fast, and cataclysmic album and I enjoyed it from start to finish. There is a technicality here that will appeal to some and a brutal disposition that will appeal to others. “Exanimate” is a head banger that is creative, high energy, and emotional. I can’t wait to see where these guys go. This album is worth checking out.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Agartha
2. Defiling Paradise
3. Patient Zero
4. Systematic Refinement
5. Wildfire
6. Infect, Replace, Disintegrate
7. Reverse Transcript
8. Pyres
9. Everything Rots
10. Desolation
11. Exanimate
Ben Roberts - Vocals
Michael Truscott - Guitar
Theo Goslett – Guitar and Backing Vocals
Josh Hynes - Bass
Michael Hodgson - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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