Typically you won’t find me reviewing anything in the metalcore genre. For whatever reason, I tend to stay a closet fan (AKA – thrashing around and bouncing about like a teenage girl, or something). The reasoning for this is pretty simple, in fact – more often than not, I find myself obsessing over these bands and their albums for months on end. All the while, if it comes to placing judgment or putting a “score” behind it, the chore is a near-impossible feat.
So amidst all the clean-scream-breakdown bands out there, one of the many I still admire is Blessthefall. While one could argue that since the band’s departure with *cough* Craig Mabbitt *cough* the group has steadily declined in originality since their debut with now-vocalist Beau Bokan. I, on the other hand, disagree. Yes, the sound has not really progressed too much. However, the sound has most definitely become more pronounced and, shall I say brutal?
The thing I admire most about Hollow Bodies is that while they remain obvious in staying true to the genre – for the most part – they rely and focus more on their screamer, Jared Warth, instead of taking the obvious path of the previously mentioned heartthrob, Beau Bokan. Don’t get me wrong, Bokan is definitely an overly capable vocalist on his own, but Warth has always been one of my most underrated and talented screamers. Honestly, by the age of 30, this fellow’s vocal chords are going to be like shredded mozzarella. So the way I see it, we only have a bit of time to appreciate his goodness; soak it up folks.
What is truly captivating about this record is it portrays the band at its heaviest as well as its softest efforts to date. It is tremendously reminiscent of The Devil Wears Prada’s previous release Dead Throne. The fact that they can produce tracks like “Déjà vu” and “Youngbloods” and counter them (or perhaps they do it just to give Bokan a tiny chance to shine) with tracks like “Open Water” and “Buried in These Walls” is a precious thing to me. Some may argue again that this is becoming the typical prototype to a modern metalcore record. I, on the other hand, find myself extremely bored when an artist or band sticks to one (especially heavy) element from start to finish. Honestly, it becomes mind-numbing, in a sense.
Scoring this album is a task in itself. As previously mentioned, it is truly a chore of a job to complete. Dancing and singing to the record, I find myself growing to love it more and more each day (also love it just as much as their previous two efforts), yet somehow I cannot seem to score it as high as an album I would listen and sing to less. It is a very frustrating notion to me. The workmanship and overall creativity does fall short, in my honest opinion, and because of that fact, it grades lower. However, if you love Blessthefall and enjoying dancing around in your car like an obnoxious human (AKA – Me), you are going to love this album…so buy it, now!