Review: “In Moment // In Memory” by Our Hollow, Our Home

2019 will be a big year for Southampton Metalcore quintet Our Hollow, Our Home. In self-releasing via their own Hollow Music label, the follow up to 2017’s highly successful “Hartsick” the freshly released “In Moment//In Memory” that were about to review will be not a make or break release, but one which could come pretty close. The unfortunate passing of vocalist and guitarist Tobias Young’s father has lead to the band recording what is essentially a concept album that talks lyrically about the five stages of grief and ends up being a more than fitting tribute.

“Denial” is an eerie 75 second introduction to the album that sets the tone with a dark piano undercurrent and a speech sample that gives rise to “In Moment”. Gradually building up through an extended introduction of modern Metalcore guitar work before the brutal unclean vocals start and the bands trademark breakdowns hit home, it’s a classy cut. The unclean vocals have an Aaron Matts of Betraying The Martyrs quality to them while th cleans are in such beautiful stark contrast, it’s stunning. “Disconnect” opens up with a Deathcore passage before moving back into the traditional Metalcore sounds. The rap scream verse which is done by both vocalists is perhaps unnecessary and off putting at first listen but does grow with repeated listens. The clean vocals give a sing-a-long quality while the gang chant passage will no doubt be slowed down for a call and response in the live arena. Closing with some haunting buried ekectronics and orchestral works is quite a surprise from where the track starts out and very bold. “Anger” then lifts into a 54 second Deathcore breakdown and single verse that is so short and sweet that it comes across as being unfinished. “Love//Loss” sees Our Hollow Our Home move back into Betraying The Martyrs territory for the first verse before the clean vocals kick in and give the whole thing a style shift. There is a distinct split personality to the song, while it plays out the heavier side and melodic side are kept very close together and are well interwoven but there is almost a “wouldn’t this be better as two tracks?” to it.

“Wraiths” has a Melodic overall sound but the pace of the thing is what takes it to other territory. It is one that perhaps suits an acoustic version and the crisp clean production gives it that extra something as it closes out with some interesting DJentisms. “//Bargaining” is the second 75 second instrumental piece, this time acting as a pallette cleaning before “Weight & Carriage”. It’s a thing of beauty combining a sound of the ocean with achingly beautiful piano work to eerie great effect. “Weight & Carriage” then keeps that synth element and drives home a heavier track that has a big melodic leaning. Lyrically a love song about a failed relationship and a fine example of modern Metalcore. The song’s big chorus and verse-chorus flow has Pop-Punk sensibilities but in a good way. “Divisions (The Exchange)”, continues the flow with the same almost Pop-Punk chorus style while using a play on silence guitar work pattern during the bridge. The unclean vocals and some of the guitar work is almost a mask on this one for the more melodic side of the band with big Whoa’s and a gang chant during the middle of the chorus. On first listen, it’s a little bit cringe worthy but it grows on you with multiple listens.

“//Depression” is another of the pallet cleansing atmosphere building instrumentals, a 61 second slow melodic piece of guitar work against a synth background that introduces “Speak of Sorrow”, one of the first singles to be released in the build up to the albums drop. Tobias Young’s clean vocals and ocean deep lyrics are far more poignant on this one, while the guitar work keeps the bounce and drive rather than focusing on the melancholic lyrical content. The opening riff attack once again has a Deathcore influence until the clean vocals start at which point the Metalcore leads come in and there is something of the Howard Jones era Killswitch Engage about proceedings. There is an interesting play with the vocals in that while the uncleans lead things off and close things out, during the mid section of the song, the cleans take complete control using the uncleans almost as a backing vocal to give weight. “Father & Ghost” brings a haunting buried synth passage and a surprise “Blegh!” given the songs obvious meaning given its title. It features some of the darkest uncleans on the album, pushing those gutturals to their limits. The reassuring lyrics work well in the context of the song which is an uplifting if dark in message and theme. “//Acceptance” is a 45 second introduction piece which has a guitar passage that leads into that of “Parting Gift”. Adding a programmed drum pattern and synths in backing the clean vocals. The lyrics are deep, meaningful and plentiful and it’s not until the 3 minute mark where the song breaks and the uncleans, guitars and drums lift everything for a final verse chorus passage. It’s achingly beautiful and a real tribute, along with the album to Young’s dearly departed father. “In Memory” then looks to the future with glances to the past and ends the album on a fine point.

In total there are 5 of the short passages between songs so the album is only 10 tracks a proper. Those passages add a depth to the sound and also keep the songs themselves shorter, allowing the listener to skip them if they don’t fancy it. It’s a challenge to review “In Moment//In Memory” without any sentiment because it wears its heart on its sleeve throughout. What Our Hollow Our Home have done is find a balance on a knife edge between all the elements that make up the bands sound. At no point does one of those elements over power another, which is a testament to the bands craft in musicianship as much as anything else. We could make a point about why a band releasing music of this quality are self-releasing it rather than being snapped up by a major label and why they’re not doing any support slots with International bands and instead pulling the Underground Scene up by it’s bootstraps. But that’s something for another time. “In Moment//In Memory” is a thing of beauty that deserves to be heard by a wider audience and Our Hollow Our Home have enhanced their huge reputation with this one [8/10]

Track listing

  1. “Denial”
  2. “In Moment”
  3. “Disconnect”
  4. “Anger”
  5. “Love//Loss”
  6. “Wraiths”
  7. “//Bargaining”
  8. “Weight & Carriage”
  9. “Divisions (The Exchange)”
  10. “//Depression”
  11. “Speak of Sorrow”
  12. “Father & Ghost”
  13. “//Acceptance”
  14. “Parting Gift”
  15. “In Memory”

“In Moment//In Memory” by Our Hollow, Our Home is out now!

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