After years of relentless hard work, dedication and refining their craft, Southampton based metalcore devotees Our Hollow, Our Home will return with their 3rd album, and finest to date, Burn In The Flood. Released on the 28th of May on the band’s own Hollow music label, the record represents another step up in quality and momentum for a band who have become one of the most deserving and hardworking success stories in the UK metal scene in the last five years.
Whilst all of the essential elements that the band have adopted since their inception in 2012 are present and correct, namely soaring, catchy melodious choruses merging together with some of the most crushing metallic harcore riffs and breakdowns you’re likely to hear this year, Burn In The Flood see’s OHOH both sonically branch out and simultaneously congeal into a tighter and more cohesive collective.
“We always want to try and do something a little different on each album,” vocalist Connor Hallisey nods. “And I think we have again here. It’s got stronger melodies, it’s got a few little experiments in sound to keep people on their toes, but, ultimately, we once again just went into the studio to make a record that we and our fans would be proud of and enjoy. Something that will sound good in our live set.”
Indeed it’s an impressive statement from a band who have now evolved into one of modern metalcore’s most essential voices. From the opening of the title track it’s obvious that everything that has ever defined the band has been sharpened, honed and meticulously crafted. It’s in the melodic leads that underpin a song like the driving Failsafe, the anthemic post-hardcore of Better Daze, the stuttering, juddering grooves that morph into a skyscraper chorus on Overcast or the haunting, vast soundscapes of the moving Blood, three albums in and Our Hollow, Our Home have found a sound that it recognisably theirs.
“With each record we’ve done we try and navigate that balance between heavy and melodic,” guitarist and vocalist Tobias Young explains. “We put heavy vocals where heavy vocals wouldn’t go and clean vocals where clean vocals don’t normally go. Just to mix it up for us, and to make us stand out more and give us less uniformity. Also we wanted the vocals to sound like one person, rather than the two of us giving two different takes on it, because we wanted it to sound more connected. It’s the closest that we’ve ever worked together, mainly because of lockdown. We had to do it all on Zoom, but it gave us this connection where we could talk about where we were coming from. It wasn’t ‘You’re talking about this, and I’m talking about this.’, it’s now two people with a shared voice and a shared opinion, it’s what we as a band think, the two of us overlap rather than just take our own turns, and it has allowed us to evolve into something very different to what we have done previously.”
“It’s been a much more collective writing process this time,” adds Connor. “I didn’t want to step on Toby’s toes last time out because I knew how important it was for him to express all of those feelings. But this time around we have truly collaborated and written collectively and I think it’s ended up being something very different from what we would normally do. It’s
progression, it’s switching things up.”
The bands previous album, 2018’s In Moment – In Memory, was made, through tragic circumstances, when Tobias’ father passed away in 2017, inspiring much of the lyrical narrative of a record that Metal Injection declared would “Catapult the band into the same league as Architects, Bury Tomorrow and While She Sleeps”.
It saw the band honing their music and improving on their established formula, but it was the raw, honest and open emotion that the record dealt with that made it connect with people to such an extent. It’s an approach that is carried on into the new album, once again, Tobias isn’t slow in coming forward to discuss the lyrical themes of the record. With Burn In The Flood tackling a number of difficult and emotive subjects that they themselves have been dealing with over the last few years.
“I was told by my councillor that I should stop writing about my grief,” he says. “So I made a point of trying to think of other things to express and other ways to express them. There’s always a narrative in our albums, but rather than tell one story across an entire album, this is 11 songs about certain feelings, and how we interpret those feelings. Burn In The Flood is about being from a broken home, Blood is about how I wanted to support my Mother after my Father passed away, Seven Years is about addiction. Each song is its own story, it’s not all part of a puzzle, each song is its own puzzle, there’s not one that I would put above another.”
This level of relatability, coupled with their relentless touring with the likes of Asking Alexandria and Blessthefall and high profile slots at festivals like Graspop, Nova Rock, Summerblast and Jera On Air, has seen the band command an ever growing army of highly dedicated followers; they currently have 170,000 monthly Spotify listeners, have been viewed over 7 million times on Youtube, with over 30,000 subscribers, and have over 25,000 Instagram followers and 111,000 followers on Facebook and 2017’s debut album Hartsick reached the top spot of the Itunes chart for rock and metal in the UK, as well as placing in the top ten in the USA, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Italy and Germany.
They were also boosted by their hugely popular cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ in 2017, which was picked up by BBC Radio One’s Greg James and subsequently topped the iTunes UK rock and metal chart, and racked up over 300,000 plays on YouTube on its first week of release.
For a band who have, and continue to, handle their own operations internally without the help of major label or industry backing, that is a mightily impressive number, and testament to the devotion Our Hollow, Our Home have to their craft. But it’s more than just the numbers that are impressive, it’s the way in which those people have connected with the band. Be it their lyrical content, their staunchly DIY approach, their high energy live shows or their down to Earth attitude, Our Hollow, Our Home have connected with their audience in a way that cannot be forced or faked.
“It’s incredible to me that we can go all the way to Eastern Europe and people will have
driven for miles to come and sing every word back to me,” Connor says shaking his head. “That really inspires me, that really makes me want to make something for them. Everything we do in this band is with the fans in mind.”
It’s this connection with their fanbase, mixed with their single-mindedness and drive as a band that makes Burn In The Flood the perfect balancing act, and a rarity for musicians; a record that will delight longtime listeners, attract more people to the party and is made purely from the passion and artistic desire from the musicians involved.
“All we ever went out to do was to amalgamate all of the bands we love and put our own twist on it,” Tobias explains. “We aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel, we just wanted to make the best wheel we could make. We aren’t going to be getting Grammy’s for this intricate jazz, space metal album, and we’re alright with that, we essentially make music that reminds us of our favourite bands. If your own band isn’t your favourite band, you’re doing something wrong.”
Just to hammer home how much joy the creation of the record brought the band, the album also features guest contributions from Crystal Lake’s Ryo Kinoshita and Lochie Keogh of Alpha Wolf, and are examples of feature spots being on an album for friendship over non-commercial reasons.
“We actually brought Crystal Lake over for one of their first U.K. shows to play Holloween in 2017…” Connor smiles. “They were phenomenal!” enthuses Tobias. “One of them was wearing our producer’s old band t-shirt. So our connection just happened straight away! They said things to us like ‘You’re our favourite UK band!’ and we were like ‘What? How can this be?’. We kept in touch and our paths crossed at some other shows. In late 2019 we then spent three weeks on the Never Say Die tour touring around Europe with both Crystal Lake & Alpha Wolf and one day in a soundcheck I think I said to both of them ‘Would you guys like to guest on the new record?’ and they both said yes! It was surreal, the fans went crazy for it. It was done because we love those guys, not for anything other than that. It comes down to integrity again, we know these guys, we want to create with our friends.”
Although Burn In The Flood is sure to be a significant moment for the band, there’s still some way for Our Hollow, Our Home to travel before they reach the point where their collective goal is achieved, both in terms of the music they make and their commercial ambitions, but, like many of the best bands, they are content to keep ploughing on, no matter how long it takes.
“I see a band like Parkway Drive, and they are playing arenas, who could have seen that 15 years ago?” Connor says. “Exactly,” adds Tobias. “They were this punk band playing savage metal from Australia, they’ve never compromised, they’ve continued to grow and they have got to where they are because they are good at what they do and people like them. We know we aren’t ever going to be the coolest band in the world, but we’re actually okay with that. We’re happy to just continue making the music we love for the people that love it and build that way. The more hyped bands that you see go up like that, often come down just as quickly, so rather than play snakes and ladders, we’ll just take the stairs, as
long as we’re going up, that’s the right direction. Why be a rabbit when you can be a tortoise?”
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