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Them - Sweet Hollow Award winner

Sweet Hollow
by Craig “Thrashing” Rider at 24 December 2016, 10:29 PM

Metal maniacs, rejoice! The Thrasher returns to present to you: THEM; signed via Empire Records, hailing from the United States of American & Germany coincidentally - performing Heavy Metal, on their debut album entitled: “Sweet Hollow”.

Since formation in 2008; the quintet in question have only and EP behind them - “Fear Them” (released on February 11th 2016). Fast forward to September 30th 2016; I'm acquainted with the debut album, “Sweet Hollow”. The record artwork depicts a typical MERCYFUL FATE/KING DIAMOND imagining that was immediately noticed, not just the artwork, but from my first listen at the start of “Rebirth” (an introductory opener with hymn based harmonics). Then the real opening crusher, “Forever Burns” showcases elegantly classy musicianship and instrumentation right off the earphones. What we have here is an inquisition of exquisite incentives to deliver Heavy Metal at its finest form; originally formed by Troy Norr as a KING DIAMOND tribute band in 2008, after returning from several other projects…Troy started to create this here concept in 2014, furthermore molding a story, band, album and shows surrounding it.

Consisting of a 6-piece quartet - Troy Norr on vocals showcases those comparable chords to that of the mighty King Diamond and shows the influence of obvious band immediately; this would appeal the interest of THEM, I would imagine. Marcus Ullrich on guitars shreds away with complex rhythms of progressive motives and powerful melodic riffery, enticing for an enjoyably fulfilling listen; similarly found with second guitarist Markus Johansson. The prolific sound production varies with great dexterity from pummeling powerhouse Mike Lepond on bass, and Kevin Talley on drums, who efficiently contribute proficiently well to the production with solid results. Richard Seibal on keys, equally performs with prominence to the melodic structure with stellar gracefulness. And with that – 10 songs in total comprising of 54:12 of enlightening hymns and frightening stories embody this disc for all to enjoy.

Down The Road To Misery”, “Ghost In The Graveyard”, & “The Quiet Room” are some hypnotizing yet comprise of an electrical atmosphere filled with some of the most enjoyable licks and songwriting one could ask for. KING DIAMOND's “Abigail” springs to mind when I listen to “Sweet Hollow”, that's for sure. “Dead Of Night” has some insatiably memorable songwriting that makes for a joyous listen. Similarly found with “FestEvil”. “The Crimson Corpse”, “Blood From Blood”, & “The Harrowing Path To Hollow”, all share a distinctive formula of incredible characteristics, while forming an ingenious musical pattern that screams out brilliance. This classy band was memorable, original, and outright enjoyable until the very end. Driven to create an exceptional concept of nightmarish stories, intertwined with sensational musicianship, THEM is a band that keeps the synonymous classical Heavy Metal alive and well.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Rebirth
2. Forever Burns
3. Down The Road To Misery
4. Ghost In The Graveyard
5. The Quiet Room
6. Dead Of Night
7. FestEvil
8. The Crimson Corpse
9. Blood From Blood
10. The Harrowing Path To Hollow
Klaus König - Vocals
Markus Ullrich - Guitars
Markus Johansson - Guitars
Mike Lepond - Bass
Kevin Talley - Drums
Richard Seibel - Keys
Record Label: Empire Records


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