Saturday, 20 February 2016

Hollow Leg - CROWN (Album Review)


Release date: March 4th 2016. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

CROWN – Tracklisting

1.Seaquake
2.Coils
3.Electric Veil 06:49
4.Atra
5.The Serpent in the Ice
6.Seven Heads
7.New Cult

Band Members:

Brent, Tim, Scott, and Tom

Review:

Sludge Rockers – Hollow Leg – return with their new album – Crown. And it’s a fitting tile as this album rules with an almighty iron fist. Crown is packed full of heavy sludge/stoner based rhythms and grizzled vocals to match. Newly signed to ace Italian record label – Argonauta Records, Crown is perhaps Hollow Leg’s heaviest, loudest and most accessible album to date.

Hollow Leg have created almost anthem like songs with the song-writing moving up a notch from their last superb album – Instinct – released a few years back. Opening track – Seaquake – has a violent sludge based energy which brings the Doom/Stoner based elements of Hollow Leg’s sound together and it’s a real heavy pounding effect. Hollow Leg creates a heavy distorted fuzz based atmosphere. It has a slight NOLA vibe but that’s part of the Hollow Leg sound. It’s good to see the band injecting top-notch psych based vibes during later moments of the song.

Second track – Coils – carries on the heavy distorted sludge based rhythms from the opening track with the band focusing more on the Doom/Stoner side of things. It opens with a minute of great riffs before the vocals kick in and sees the band stamping their authority on proceedings. The song has a nautical feel to it especially with the lyrics. Hollow Leg offer more distorted fuzz to drown you with.

Third track – Electric Veil – runs for almost seven minutes as Hollow Leg open with a slow-paced riff matched with a NOLA based sound. You don’t have too long to wait before the heavier riffs appear as the band opt for a more slow-paced approach. The tone can be quite bleak at times but the band does inject a welcome dose of blues rock and psych vibes for another one of the albums standout tracks.

Fourth Track – Atra – is a semi-acoustic instrumental track that sees the band creates a cool doomy psychedelic offering. It maybe a short song but this song is very atmospheric and it’s a welcome change to the albums earlier heavier moments.

Firth track – The Serpent In The Ice – is the centre-piece of the entire album as it runs for an epic nine minutes plus. It’s definitely the standout track on the album. It sees Hollow Leg create huge vocals and huge riffs as this song grabs you by the scruff of the neck for a stirring mix of Sludge, Doom and Stoner Metal riffs. When the band venture into more psych based waters is when things start to become more exciting as a result. The instrumental work is flawless through-out as the band has perhaps created their finest song to date.

Crown has two more songs to impress you with. Seven Heads and New Cult offer fifteen minutes of heavy distorted Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal sounds immersed with powerful vocals as Hollow Leg create the heaviest sounds and riffs on the entire album. Both songs show you how powerful Hollow Leg really are.

I’ve had Gero at Argonauta Records telling me for a long time how good this album really is and how much I will dig it. He’s right. I loved this album from the very first listen. It’s my fave Hollow Leg album so far and I loved their last album – Instinct – as well. Crown is a stunning mix of Psych, Sludge, Doom and Stoner Metal. It’s an album that will only enhance Hollow Leg’s already deserved reputation within the Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal community.

The production on the album is excellent through out. You can hear and feel every note being played around you. Crown draws you in right from the start and it won’t let go of you until the final note is played. Crown is a must have album. Whatever you do, you need this album. Plain and Simple.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Barbara at NeeCee Agency and Gero at Argonauta Records for the promo. Crown will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Argonauta Records from March 4th 2016.

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