Review: Memphis May Fire – The Hollow

Rated:

4/5

Let’s face it, from a creative standpoint, metalcore is all but dead. While pioneering bands like Killswitch Engage and Cave In expertly merged the melodic with the heavy into coherent and catchy songs, a glut of recent groups have apparently begun to think of music as little more than breakdowns stitched together by whiny vocal musings and disjointed electronic samples.

On their second full-length, Memphis May Fire initially seem poised to fall into this same deep, dark pit. Every modern metalcore trademark is here, from the clean vocal choruses to the heavy use of synths and effects. And yet, against all odds, The Hollow sounds interesting, fresh, and truly great.

It starts with the riffs. Instead of relying on simple chugging repetition like many of its peers, this Texan quintet weaves a variety of speedy, intricate, and catchy guitar patterns throughout its sound, lending it an almost progressive quality. The number of solid riffs here is remarkable, and these alone would be enough to garner a recommendation.

But even more importantly, these 10 tracks are each strong, coherent, and memorable.  The infectious choruses integrate superbly with the complex riffing around them, and each song has its own identity, pacing, and feel.

Bolstered further by very solid production, clever use of effects, and strong clean vocals, The Hollow is quite simply one of the best metalcore albums in a long time. Whether you believe the subgenre died a long time ago or you have All That Remains tattooed on your forehead, this record deserves your attention. CLARKE READ


  • http://twitter.com/kylebish Kyle Bishop

    Its good. I’ll give it that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Karl-Kaardal/100002151738659 Karl Kaardal

      I felt pretty much the same way. If I had never listened to MMF before and just heard this album then I would like it, not the greatest band I’ve ever heard but definitely good stuff. But for me this isn’t Memphis May Fire, they lost that southern rock influence that made them truly unique and stick out. Sleepwalking and their ST EP are both miles above The Hollow and Between The Lines for that matter. It would have been cool if the just did Between The Lines as an EP to show a different side of their music but went back to more of a Sleepwalking style on The Hollow.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Karl-Kaardal/100002151738659 Karl Kaardal

      I felt pretty much the same way. If I had never listened to MMF before and just heard this album then I would like it, not the greatest band I’ve ever heard but definitely good stuff. But for me this isn’t Memphis May Fire, they lost that southern rock influence that made them truly unique and stick out. Sleepwalking and their ST EP are both miles above The Hollow and Between The Lines for that matter. It would have been cool if the just did Between The Lines as an EP to show a different side of their music but went back to more of a Sleepwalking style on The Hollow.

  • Footballgiant123

    This is MMF if it was your normal run of the mill metalcore band (a la Rise Records), all this has been done a million times over. At least the southern influenced was the tiniest bit original.

  • Maddy Norton

    I love this band and “Sleepwalking” is one of my favourite albums in my collection. Like many others have chimed already, the loss of the southern feel seems to have pushed them more into the collection of every other band writing this music. I love the album, but I fell like all of the tracks have the exact same rhythm. Is the drummer on this record different from the one on the Sleepwalking album? Because that’s what seemed to drive the music prior to this recording. Great tunes though, great band, and Matty Mullins is an amazing vocalist. 8/10.

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  • steve-o

    Great album!!! I am not a big fan of Screamcore/ Metalcore/ Scream-O… But I was intrigued by the album cover??? I’m Not one that is influenced by cover alone, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the cover! Then I listened to it and the riffs where memorable, the lyrics where understandable, it has an intoxicating grove and the album structure itself was something I haven’t seen in a while! I had never even heard of this band until recently! Great find, Great album, great band!!

  • That Guy

    This album is amazing every song is so good and great to listen to. I read a bad review somewhere else about how they “changed” from the album Sleepwalking, so i gave the album a listen and in my opinion they sound just as awesome! In short I’m glad my friend told me to check out this band.

  • toria

    This album is completely perfect. I listen to it almost every single day.