Review Summary: While dropping their Southern vibe almost completely, Memphis May Fire have put forth an album worth your time.
Memphis May Fire have certainly been through a lot since their formation. From releasing their well received southern rock influenced self-titled EP and losing a vocalist shortly after, to the release of their quickly forgotten Between The Lies EP. And with their recent signing to the infamous Rise Records, many people may have doubted this album as being a generic cookie-cutter Rise-core album. But, while this album is pretty generic, it proves that they are still capable of making music that is worth your time.
From the very first track, “The Sinner”, you can tell that this is not the same band as their previous albums. You are immediately thrust into a sea of intricate riffing and breakdowns, along with some orchestral effects. Matty Mullins showcases his much improved vocals very well on this song. From his soaring and beautiful cleans, and powerful, aggressive screams, it is obvious that his vocals are the driving force of the band. Following “The Sinner” is “The Unfaithful”, which features a sing-along chorus and a bone-shattering breakdown at about the halfway point that is sure to be popular at concerts.
The next track is “The Victim”. This is a very solid track. From the catchy chorus to the very nice guitar work, and heavy effects in the background it will not fail to impress, easily one of the highlight tracks on the album. Next track, “The Abandoned”, begins with the distressed screams of:
Staring at the wall,
I never thought this would be so hard.
How could have I been so close and never known you?
I never knew, I never knew you at all!
You will always be my father but I hope you know,
It's your fault and I'll never know what that means.
You left a void that never could be replaced.
I am dying inside but you will never see!
The band showcases some amazing lyrics on this album.The overall lyrical theme throughout the album, tell the story of the man on the cover and his experiences in his life, which is an interesting concept. Following “The Abandoned” is “The Deceived”, another heavy track. But this album does offer a break from all the heavy breakdown-laden metalcore, in the form of “The Burden (Interlude)”. Being one of the best interlude tracks on an album in a long time, this transitions well into “The Haunted”.
The next few songs lead further on with the haunting tones, deep lyrics, and fantastic vocals. But on the last track “The Redeemed”the tone is changed quite a bit. It has some quite inspiring and uplifting lyrics and a haunting outro, this is an amazing closing track to an above-average metalcore album, it is the perfect ending to this dark haunting album, and proves that The Hollow is anything but hollow, lacking filler songs and being an all around amazing release.