Tuesday 8 January 2019

Hollow Leg - Civilizations

Labels: Argonauta Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 25 Jan 2019


1. Litmus
2. Dirt Womb
3. Mountains Of Stone
4. Black Moon
5. Hunter And The Hunted
6. Intro
7. Chimera
8. Akasha
9. Exodus

Floridian sludge/doom band Hollow Leg has been around for over a decade now and will be releasing their fourth full-length "Civilizations" via Argonauta Records on January 25th. They're not newbies anymore and are currently pumping an album every two years, which is more than many pop stars and so called "stadium" rock bands. They've learnt a fair bit along the road too, having shared stages with the likes of Black Tusk and Mastodon amongst many others. This new album should prove to be their most complete to date.

If your anticipation is getting the better of you it’ll only get worse as album opener Litmus builds, slowly. It’s wall of drums, feedback and riffs is certainly a sight for sore ears. The groove and stoner elements are all too obvious (in a good way) and the semi-clean vocals are perfectly set against the backdrop of heaviness. Hollow Leg goes from lumbering sludge to driving and heavy noise-rock on Dirt Womb. The grooves are still their and it is somewhat mid-pace but it does the job bloody well. There’s a crossover point for bands like this where they’re either too heavy for the majority or not heavy enough. Thankfully, Hollow legs sits slap back in the middle (in my opinion).

After those two initial heavyweights, Hollow Leg reverts to a more urgent stance on the fantastically titled Mountains Of Stone. Other layers are added to the band’s sound here with some full-on raging screams as well as subtle atmosphere thanks some great post-metal riffs. Black Moon is a more laid-back song, with no crunching guitar, cleaner singing and more of that atmosphere I was talking about before. Clearly, there’s plenty of room for variation and proper song-writing in this band’s repertoire.

I read somewhere that Hollow Leg’s influences include the likes of Faith No More and hearing Hunter And The Hunted, I’m not surprised. The grunge/rock flowing through it is great and once again it’s a sound that really compliments the album. Bizarrely, track six on “Civlizations” is called Intro and at first I thought it might have been a mistake in the press kit i received, but after checking a couple of other sources, it seems it wasn’t. That can only mean one thing, that Hollow Leg obviously has a bit of sense of humour and is quite happy to fool the music press. I’m okay with this because the song’s pretty damn good.

Chimera takes things back in a striding direction thanks to driving tempos and a huge amount of forward momentum. There’s forceful nature to the song that paints it out as an album standout.  Following Chimera is difficult but with penultimate song Akasha, Hollow Legs pulls out another barrage of heaviness that made the beginning of the album so impactful. Closing “Civilizations” out with one final mammoth-like blow, Exodus takes you back to where you started and continually smashes you abut the face with thunderous riffs of sludge/doom, which make it even harder to believe that this band is really from Florida!

You can stream the single Hunter And The Hunted via the Argonauta Records soundcloud page below:

Keep an eye out for vinyl/CD pre-orders at Argonauta Records here - http://www.argonautarecords.com/

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