The Hollow review by Memphis May Fire

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  • Released: Apr 26, 2011
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (51 votes)
Memphis May Fire: The Hollow
1

Sound — 8
Known for its twang and natural talent to force out lines about barbecue stains and sweltering heat waves, Dallas seems like a strange home for post-hardcore meltdowns but in fact, it's ideal. Texas is a devoted to punk; some overlook the obvious facts (Austin's concert venue Emo's) and it's a shame as it's essentially prevented heavier acts like Memphis May Fire from breaking out. The Rise Records outfit debuted with 2009's "Sleepwalking", a vulnerable take on hardcore fused with a clear-cut homage to punk and have returned with "The Hollow", a progressive step forward. On the outside, the record embodies the typical metalcore characteristics, what with every track name including "the" in it's title, but it uses certain stereotypes to it's advantage. One being the impression given by keys and programming; in some instances it's too much, but Memphis May Fire candidly balance it out complimenting their trademark breakdowns and new ventures into ripping out a complicated riff ("The Sinner") or changing the pitch of scream ("The Abandoned"). The latter is what strikes; whether it's after the first listen or the fourth, "The Hollow" doesn't embarrass itself by imitating similar artists lost trying to reinvent a sound (e.g. Abandon All Ships). It instead flickers with a bit of everything, channeling The Devil Wears Prada ferocity before dropping into dark Underoath tones that churn out a rhythm section, complete with a synth backbone, that echoes tiny shards of Bring Me The Horizon. The ups and downs seem relentless, but they flow and flourish.

Lyrics — 9
Part of the unconscious stream of little mistakes is due to vocalist Matty Mullins having found himself. As a lyricist, he easily blends in with the norm, letting loose about despair, but his voice plays a commanding role, a trait more apt to find in a group that's released close to five studio albums. Mullins vocals are still raw and exposed but Memphis May Fire couldn't have it any other way. On "The Unfaithful", the clean vocals power the track more than some would like, drawing in present Chiodos-style hooks. "The Victim" has Mullins singing lines with a bit more wail, until the guitars kick in and the growl gets released. The vocalist's transitions sound they're being given too much credit, but it helps distinguish the five-piece and unlike other releases from post-hardcore labels, adds variety, which is why "The Deceived" and a majority of the material on the record aren't slightly identical.

Overall Impression — 8
Memphis May Fire won't be a cult underground name and won't co-headline with hardcore heavyweights; they will however, continue to grow by experimenting with a clear focus of developing their own sound without falling into the shade of comparisons and contrasts. The jump from debut to sophomore doesn't seem astronomical, but on a technical level, it's very much so. "The Hollow" features detailed production to emit blazing guitar work, precise rhythms and melodies that rarely get mind-numbing or repetitive. It's hard to picture, but country music make need to side-step out of the way in the southern states.

27 comments sorted by best / new / date

    mpastrick
    I have always know this band for its blues riffs and unique tones/melodies. If the leap they took in this album was not so impressive, i wouldve rathered them stay where they were. but they really wowed me with this release.
    reptartdf
    I was actually impressed with this album. I thought it was just another Rise album but i like theyre old stuff and this album is the best that Rise has released in a long time.
    Metallidethium
    EpiExplorer : As boring as a turd made of greyer than grey concrete with added wallpaper glue and toyota prius. And a whole bunch of stereotypes, which is the thing that gets me, post-hardcore panders to stereotypes like a well-fed canary. WHY?? WHY CANT YOU AT LEAST BE DIFFERENT??
    You've made your disdain for this genre very clear on many album reviews so why, why?! do you keep coming to these review pages?! Love this band, can't wait to check out this album!
    SEbI666
    Its sad that they lost a lot of the southern rock elements, but i think this record will be awesome, cant wait till its out in germany! seriously, one of my favorite bands, they are so NOT typically metalcore. and the guys, espacially matty are really nice to talk to.
    Telemonster4
    ninjagayden777 wrote: Definately not thier best work, but this e.p. is pretty sweet :3
    This isn't an ep.....
    Gloii
    Most unique post hardcore/Metalcore band i've ever heard!
    Team_Snorlax
    i saw them live last Tuesday and they murdered it. The Hollow, in my opinion is the best album i have heard this year so far. i was simply blown away by each track. but for me the two that stand out the most are The Abandoned, and The Deceived. The intro in The Abandoned is awesome, 3...2...1... STARING AT THE WALLS. it gave me chills! and the chorus for The Deceived hits close to home for me. "i gave you all of me,put you first in line, such a waste of time. i was always your, you were never mine. such a waste of time" im absolutely in love with this album.
    DangerPat 00
    Fuuuuuccckkkkk I loved Sleepwalking so much, but only for the Southern Rock element else they'd be very much generic. Great live though, probably will see them again later this month
    Loki_37
    Hmm sounds like it'll just be a carbon-copy. I'll still hit up a few songs, maybe.
    Caliban16
    this album is the best thing that rise have brought out! everything about it is music perfection IN MY OPINION :p sound is ace and vocals are just pure godly!!!! thats what i think anyway
    rage__against10
    this album was a disappointment compared to sleepwalking. Very generic and almost bordering boring.
    metalb0y
    Sounds like every other post hardcore band, generic breakdowns, drums, riffs. Nothing great, its been done before over and over again. Not even worth downloading
    ryhuz
    i'm so disappointed that they've lost their southern sound.
    Kyle<3
    This album is boring, Sleepwalking and the EP were so much better. Good for them for getting big, but yea... they "sold out" to do it. So much potential wasted on Rise Records.
    r0ckth3d34n
    Disliked. I liked the first two releases, but this sounded EXACTLY like A Bullet for Pretty Boy.
    NightBladeXx
    rage__against10 wrote: this album was a disappointment compared to sleepwalking. Very generic and almost bordering boring.
    This. They strayed from their southern hardcore sound, which was the only reason I liked them. They're just another cookie-cutter post-hardcore band now.
    StringAssassin
    One of Rise's better bands/releases. Still pretty boring in comparison to lots of other acts.
    maertzxxx
    what a galactic disappointment. sleepwalking was literally perfect from end to end. rise records gets ahold of them and its all techno and breakdowns. i listened to the album all the way through, didnt hear a single shred of REAL guitar work. matty doesnt sing anymore. all his screams are hi/low layers instead of mids. its just a giant ball of crap. typical hardcore, gotta sell out to get anywhere. should have just stayed in texas. at least we got one good album
    Braaaaaaaandon
    mark3777 wrote: their ep(08?) was good. I think there is only one original member now.
    the two guitarists are the only original members
    [x]Huffy[x]
    mark3777 wrote: their ep(08?) was good. I think there is only one original member now.
    mark3777 wrote: their ep(08?) was good. I think there is only one original member now.
    Two, as far as I am aware.
    mark3777
    their ep(08?) was good. I think there is only one original member now.
    zlaxguitar
    when i first downloaded the album i didnt like it all, then i got to hear The Abandoned, and so on, i kept falling into The Hollow,s trap and the thing with this album, is not full with instants hits and its not really the most worked album, but it has some songs that would put you in the mood, if by cult on the review he meant Asking Alexandria or Atreyu or The Devil Wears Prada, they,re way outta of league to Memphis May Fire, but i guess they cant really be compared. Love the vocals, love the breakdowns, hate the useless verses, love the riffs, The Hollow is a different but same Post-hardcore album you should hear.
    EpiExplorer
    As boring as a turd made of greyer than grey concrete with added wallpaper glue and toyota prius. And a whole bunch of stereotypes, which is the thing that gets me, post-hardcore panders to stereotypes like a well-fed canary. WHY?? WHY CANT YOU AT LEAST BE DIFFERENT??