Exanimate - Hollow World
Artist: Hollow World
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Review by Steve Jenkins
Every now and then you'll come across a band who will help to define an entire genre with a single, spectacular release. Exanimate by Melbourne band Hollow World is that release and shows exactly how modern melodic death metal should sound. What we have with this genre defining album is an unrelenting soundtrack of eleven in-your-face tracks that will shock your senses with an onslaught of blistering riffs and an array of complex but brutal musicianship.
Vocalist of the band, Ben Roberts, has explained that Exanimate is a “double idea” concept album involving two stories .The first story centres on a super-virus that wipes out the human race. The second story is of the human race being a virus that wipes out the world— rendering it uninhabitable.
The overtones on Exanimate are desolate but are complimented with an authentic death metal sound that perseveres throughout the entire album. An admirable feature of the album is their ability to capture melody and make it sound ultra dark, whilst avoiding the ‘atmospheric’ approach and giving off a really evil sounding vibe. The intensity and speed heard on here is quite overwhelming and a lot of that can be credited to the blistering drumming performance. A predominant melody heard on the guitars is a force that prevails alongside the dual vocals which are relentless and precise.
The production that we hear is nearly perfect and it does a great job of capturing each member sounding their absolute finest. It’s as brutal and technical as some of the best bands out there that have been nailing this for a very long time, such as The Black Dahlia Murder, At The Gates and Carcass. Whilst it ticks all of the boxes in terms of elements that make a death metal album great, don’t go into it thinking you’ll find any obscure compositions on this release, which is perfectly fine.
Overall, this is an excellent debut album that is going to get a lot of deserved attention from people everywhere. There are no real flaws on here as it's quite hard to find anything wrong with Exanimate, purely for the reason that this genuinely sounds as polished as a 3rd or 4th release. The extreme energy that comes through when you listen to Hollow World does not fade at all on this album and this is surely going to elevate them as a top contender. I would go as far to say that this is possibly one of the best death metal releases that we've seen come out of Australia for quite some time.
4.5 stars out of 5.
Exanimate is out now and you can support the guys by purchasing via their Bandcamp page right here or on iTunes.
Check out the video for the track 'Wildfire' below: