Release Date: 17th July 2020
For fans of: Make Them Suffer, Emmure, Northlane
Whether it’s been by experimenting with metalcore, grime or hip-hop, Leeds quintet On Hollow Ground have been progressing and reinventing their sound for years. With a sound that fuses metalcore with the techno house beats of a band like Issues or more recently, Northlane, On Hollow Ground have shared stages with the likes of Martyr Defiled and Make Them Suffer through the sheer diversity of their sound. Bringing a more refined product of their vibe is debut full-length Blood Is Blood.
Blood Is Blood is filled with catchy riffs and punchy vocal lines which are sure to be crowd-grabbers when played live such as on ‘Our Lives’ and ‘Broken’, the latter providing the repeat of ‘OH, OH’, throughout the song. This simplistic and attitudinal chorus is a shrewd inclusion and will go down well in the live set and pull in support as even someone who hasn’t even heard of the band can join in with it. ‘Shut Down’ brings a solid mix of ‘djent’ metal chords and techno beats which are juxtaposed nicely to reflect the song’s lyric, ‘Anger, confusion flowing free.’ With frontman Jack Flynn’s rasping vocal exclaiming ‘SHUT DOWN’ at intervals during the song, this is another crowd pleaser.
Blood Is Blood showcases the band’s ability to write massive, gripping hooks with The anthemic ‘People Never Learn’ being a prime example of their wide range of talents. Introduced by a tech beat accompanied by some quick-fire rapped lyrics from Flynn, it shows off more of that diverse vocal talent. This tech beat returns later in the song to lead into the breakdown, another seamless transition between the two musical styles that On Hollow Ground incorporate within their sound. ‘Surviving Life’ holds more synth and atmosphere with a higher pitched, more serene guitar and vocal showing yet another side to the band’s sound.
“Even Though’ gives us more of that atmospheric approach with the inclusion of some piano and synth in the backing, which works nicely in bringing the album to a close and making more evident the band’s dexterity when it comes to blending genres and sounds. In a way, it sounds like a final calling, considering the lyric ‘I still loved you like you love me’.
All in all, Blood Is Blood is a solid metalcore album that makes brave crosses between musical genres and styles but does this to great effect. It’s wonderful to see a British artist experimenting in such a way and to top it off, doing it well.
Recommended tracks: ‘Our Lives’; ‘People Never Learn’; ‘Blood Is Blood’
On Hollow Ground are: Jack Flynn – lead vocals; Ryan Scott – guitar and vocals; Chris Batty – guitar; Bob Howe – bass; Joe Wood – drums