Hollow Ground – Cold Reality (CD)

Hollow Ground – Cold Reality / 2006 Organized Crime Records / 6 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/hollowground / http://www.organizedcrimerecords.com / Reviewed 26 April 2006

The rough opening that “Cold Reality” has is not a result by any lack of maturity or talent on Hollow Ground’s part, but rather a desire to keep step for step with established bands like Hatebreed. The screamed-out vocals that first assault listeners during songs like “Ill Fate” are in the vein of the tough-guy hardcore that dominated the scene in the mid nineties; the guitar work points to a much cleaner style that is common with bands like The Black Dahlia Murder and Norma Jean.

The two styles do not also work perfectly together, but this is not needed as the combined forces just level listeners. No finesse is really needed when the band’s only goal is to be the hardest and most intense entity out on the arket. There are a very interesting developments in Hollow Ground’s style at points; the instrumental interludes that take place during the title track, coupled with the staged arrangements during the song will keep individuals dialed into Hollow Ground’s sound for much longer. The style of music that Hollow Ground plays is not anything completely new, but the band does the style well enough to keep individuals interested and the band’s style from seeming too hackneyed. What is perhaps the most interesting thing about Hollow Ground is that during every track of “Cold Reality”, the band ends their music at about the two minute mark. The repetition that the band uses to tattoo their style onto listener’s heart is so present that a song like “Final Words” is only one minute and fifty-seven second but it feels as if the song reaches into the four minute side of things.

Overall, “Cold Reality” is a solid EP that shows Hollow Ground as a band that possesses a specific style and the tools that they need to properly show that style to all individuals that listen in. The band could increase their stock to listeners by adding some more bells and whistle into the mix, but overall “Cold Reality” is a fun metalcore disc, one that brings the hurt and pain from the opening of “Ill Fate” all the way to the closing strains of “On The Line”. The presence of an earlier metal style (early nineties Megadeth type of sound) during “Left Blind” shows that the band could change things up without losing their distinct style, so here’s to hoping an LP enjoys more variation.

Top Track: Left Blind

Rating: 6.3/10

[JMcQ]

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