Short but mouth-puckeringly sweet, the six-track album, Hollow by Mourning Grey is a hard-hitting rock/alternative metal album that isn’t afraid to be vulnerable. Every song on this album is distorted and melodic with just the right amount of raspy screaming to scratch that itch. When it comes to impressive, technical instrumentals, good metal musicians are among the best, and Hollow is an excellent album to listen to if you want to hear a combination solid heavy-metal instrumentals and melodic vocals.
Successfully contributing to the shadowy mood of “Scarred”, the first thing I noticed is the passion and anger behind Ben Chapman’s lyrics. Thanks to steel-heavy guitars by Kenny Bulka, insanely skilled, Deathclock-ian drumming by Chris Jeter, and deep, complicated bass by Dave Vaughan, the opening track descriptively sets the gothic ambiance of the rest of the album. Check out the band’s music video for “Scarred” below!
“Falling” puts Mourning Grey’s alternative/metal style on display for the whole world to see. This song vividly describes that dark place we’ve all gone to when things get rough. The emotion behind the words “I’m falling, six-feet underground. I’m falling, can someone save me now?” is prevalent and powerful against the backdrop of the dark and brooding instrumental.
“Lost” opens with a wave of sound that leaves no room for empty space. Including the subtle use of synthesizers, all of the instruments fill up the audio-space on “Lost” without overpowering the ears. The second verse brings down the intensity just a smidgeon and then amps it back up, intricately filling the soundscape of the song. The complex guitar line only gets more intense when you arrive at the bridge of the song.
“The War” is a politically charged, war-is-an-inevitable-condition-of-human-existence song. It starts out a NIN-style industrial drum feel that transitions into a true headbanger of a song (in fact, this is my “Guitar Hero pick of the album”). I absolutely loved the screaming on this one, it kicks the energy up several notches as the guitar and bass smack you across the face like a bottle in a barroom brawl.
I could listen to the instrumentals on Hollow all day long. I particularly enjoy when metal and punk songs incorporate acoustic instruments as a way to get you ready for a song that’s about to break your neck. “My Demise” starts out with a slower, heartfelt acoustic portion. The rest of the instrumental literally kicked in and I had to make sure I didn’t get whiplash. Definitely my favorite song on the album, “My Demise” has a catchy melody that’s only improved by the way the singer harmonizes with himself.
“Up To You” offers a satisfying end to Hollow. I appreciate when albums can offer a consistent sound across the board, and “Up To You” really shows me that Mourning Grey has perfected their hard-rock style.
To say that Hollow by Mourning Grey is solid is an understatement. Each member is truly talented, offering a distinctive, yet familiar style that fans of the alternative and metal sections of the rock spectrum typically clamor for (yours truly included). I highly recommend checking out this album no matter what kind of music you’re into.
A Pavement Entertainment release, Hollow by Phoenix, Arizona’s Mourning Grey is available on all streaming audio services.
Mourning Grey is:
Benjamin Chapman – Vocals
Chris Jeter – Drums
Dave Vaughan – Bass
Kenny Bulka – Guitar
Listen to Hollow by Mourning Grey