• Alex Swift

LOUDER REVIEWS:'Burn In The Flood' - Our Hollow, Our Home

A visceral combination of elusive atmospherics and primitive anger underpins ‘Burn in the Flood’. On the surface, this will come as no shock to the acts growing underground fanbase. Notably though, standing out from the opening notes of the title track is the refinement in the songwriting – the delicate yet enthralling ways the instrumental palate changes from beautiful to violent, the way vocalists Connor Hallisey and Tobias Young dextrously trade lines, the interplay between the emancipating electronics and monstrous guitar lines. There’s a conviction present which gives moments like ‘Failsafe’ the confidence to contrast gnashing verses with inspiring melodies. Irrespective of how disorienting these often frantic sonic shifts may sound on first listen, after multiple sits they show themselves as a carefully considered and ambitious fusing of influences.

Admittedly, that dissonant feel is carried by the excellent rhythmic prowess of bassist Bobby Brooks and drummer Nicholas Taliadoros, who command with a brilliant sense of precision which - far more than simply playing the role of ‘tempo setting’ – give anthems in the vain of ‘In Retrospect’ so much of their believability, and persuasion over the listener. There’s definitely a sense of complexity on display yet make no mistake, the changeable cadences and intricate time signatures lend to the sense of inner conflict between the fearful and confident sides of oneself that defines the thematic arc of the project. All this makes for a beautiful if occasionally overwhelming listening experience.

Take the contrast between two of the central pieces – ‘Monarch’ and ‘Better Daze’. The former seizes you with a stampeding riff, tremolo lead work that feels straight out of the new wave of metal playbook and erratic deviations in vocal style from rapped to scream further aiding in creating a truly cathartic feel. “Tell me, can you feel it” opens the simple albeit effective chorus, acting as a rallying cry, compelling the audience to heed their emotions. The later named track is just as authentic, yet more influenced by a post-hardcore mawkishness, employing uplifting atmospherics and joyous, crescendoing synths which aid in conveying an inner-contentment and hope for the future.

Although the mission of this band is to stir courage, their motivational messages are tinged with defiance. ‘Nerv’ illustrates the conflict between anxiety and serenity in exemplary fashion, the arresting alterations between loud and quiet lending themselves to the raw emotional chaos at the heart of the album. The fact is that many of these ideas owe to the legions of metal acts that came before them, and these musicians are certainly not shying away from their influences. Still, the surreal synthesis of ideas from across the musical spectrum as displayed, for instance, through the deeply melodic yet intense ‘Overcast’ gives Our Hollow, Our Home their unique quality. Indeed, although some subtleties can be occasionally be lost in the multitude of elements and ideas which make up their colossal compositions, considered overall, the refrain of “We’re whispers on the wind” throughout ‘Remember Me’ couldn’t be further from the truth.

That tangible sense of excitement continues as we approach the final leg of the album. There’s a feeling of being engulfed, owing to the insistence on being huge in ambition and gigantic in execution, but the pervading sense is one of being impressed as opposed to exhausted or dazed. In that sense, the way the final three songs are approached is intriguing. ‘Children of Manus’ is admittedly one of the weaker moments, feeling less balanced and journeying than the other tracks, despite still making an impression through raw aggression and bombastic performance. ‘Blood’, by contrast, is sentimental, relying on sombre acoustics in the first minute before spiralling into an earnest and sombre ballad about family, and making time to be with the people you love. Finally, ‘Seven Years (Shine A Light on Me)’ brings together those two elements – aggression and sentimentality – in a way that gives ‘Burn in the Flood’ a triumphant sense of closure. I think separating those elements for two songs and then bringing them together again for the finale was a clever move. Light and dark, despair and joy, fear, and excitement – these are elements contained within ourselves. The way that conflict is captured here, makes for a fascinating and deeply effecting listen.

'Burn in the Flood' is released on May 28th via 'Hollow Music'

Check out the new music video for 'Better Daze' below: