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Nocturnal Hollow - A Whisper of a Horrendous Soul

Nocturnal Hollow
A Whisper of a Horrendous Soul
by Liam Easley at 24 April 2019, 4:08 PM

One of Death Metal’s most influential countries is, obviously, Sweden. It has been so influential that even to this very day, bands are getting together to replicate that sound developed by ENTOMBED and DISMEMBER. While not entirely new to the scene, NOCTURNAL HOLLOW is one of these bands, and on Mar. 29, 2019, they released their fifth full-length, “A Whisper of a Horrendous Soul”.

I get a lot of promos of bands playing Swedish Death Metal, and I always sigh when I do because it becomes a chore after a while. Like, how many Swedish Death Metal bands do I have to give the same review before a fresh-sounding band comes along? While NOCTURNAL HOLLOW isn’t necessarily “fresh”, they offer more than what most ENTOMBED clones do.

This sound sticks to specifics, and NOCTURNAL HOLLOW do everything they can within that sound without stepping outside of it. It’s like there’s a box within a box and while they think outside of this innermost box, they do not think outside of the bigger box known as Swedish Death Metal. Unlike most modern ENTOMBED clones, these guys actually remind me of the classic 1990s band.

Especially on “Trapped in a Coffin”. When the breakdown near the end hits, it’s like something from ENTOMBED’s “Clandestine”. That album was full of heavy riff-age, and NOCTURNAL HOLLOW definitely took that and shaped it into their own riffs. Not to mention that this song is just a heavy riff machine.

Speaking of riffs, usually modern bands with the chainsaw distortion come up with the most underwhelming riffs. This album, however, is riff-city certified. There are moments on “Rotten Skull” and “Coming Back to the Grave” that are unpredictable and quick. It’s nicely paced, and everything flows while maintaining an interest in the listener.

God of Deaths” is one of this album’s highlights. The depth created by the dual guitars is very well-organized, and it is, I think, the best representation of this band’s ability to write a song. While the riff at the beginning never makes a reappearance, the song progresses with minimal repetition until its climax and inevitable conclusion. The song progresses very smoothly, and the riffs are delicious.

This album is also structured well. There are good songs spread throughout the album, each song seems to have its own unique riff or moment and it is very balanced. One song near the end that made me realize this was “Midnight Burial”. This track is full of rhythm and groovy riff-age. Its slow pace makes it heavier and the bluntly melodic riffs give it an edge. What stands out on this song is unique to it, just like most other songs on here.

I passed this album off as a typical Swedish Death Metal band upon my first taste, but now that I’ve been forced to listen to the whole thing, it sounds awesome. This is just another example of how one should never judge an album based on the first minute. “A Whisper of a Horrendous Soul” is a fantastic release worthy of anyone’s time. If you like any Death Metal band from Sweden in the early 1990s, this album is for you.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 5
Memorability: 8
Production: 9



 

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Coming Back to the Grave
2. Trapped in a Coffin
3. I Am the Slaughter
4. Rotten Skull
5. Master of Invidious
6. God of All Deaths
7. Spit the Nails
8. Midnight Burial
9. World Decay
10. Ancestral Beings
 
Lineup:
JR Escalante – Guitars, Vocals, Bass
George Knive – Drums


 
Record Label: Raw Skull Recordz
     


Rating

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Edited 18 July 2019
 

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