Album Review: Our Hollow, Our Home – Hartsick

Album Review: Our Hollow, Our Home – Hartsick

Our Hollow, Our Home
Hartsick
(Self-Release)

I’ve shared my love and appreciation of British metalcore on this site many times, most recently for the very promising THECITYISOURS. Listening to the truly excellent debut from Our Hollow, Our Home helped drive home why that is. Too often modern metalcore groups are too caught up in either being brutal or slick and melodic that their sound feels uneven. For as much flack as the style gets (often rightly so), quality metalcore brings the mosh and the hooks, and features members who can actually play their instruments. Hartsick is the Gospel preaching the Good News of Top-Tier Metalcore, and it showcases a young band who understand how to balance out different sides of their chosen style. Our Hollow, Our Home are really a jack of all trades: these breakdowns are tidal waves; the choruses beg are wonderfully anthemic, and there are a whole boatload of memorable musical moments strewn throughout the record.

The group’s take on metalcore is distinctly modern, recalling Architects, Bury Tomorrow, and The Amity Affliction (and by extension the stadium-sized splendor of Atreyu and Killswitch Engage). It’s a love letter to the effectiveness of the style at its peak, and, somehow, this young English group have produced something that isn’t far off from their influences’ best works. Songs like the title track, “Feast for the Crows”, and “Fox Blood” emphasize the band’s strengths: dual-guitar harmonies; a thrash-y, pedal-to-the-metal pace, and the kind of hooks that bring the songs to another level. Sure, not all breakdowns are created equal on Hartsick, and it’s fair to say the songwriting can feel a bit too neck-snapping for its own good (riffs or hooks don’t always stay as long as they should for maximum impact), but these are expected and minor problems for a first release.

So yeah, this is an incredible debut release, but it hints at future greatness. Our Hollow, Our Home don’t have a totally unique sound, but their mix of influences creates something so compelling that playing “spot the influence” isn’t a worthwhile exercise. Metalcore debuts aren’t the stuff of “Best Of” lists usually, but Hartsick has the quality to keep the listener constantly engaged and entertained, and it’s pretty great.

Purchase the album on iTunes.

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