Review Summary: 'Hollow Bodies' is the perfect example of a band that refuses to evolve and continues to emulate.
Blessthefall are a band that is simply incapable of surprising audience. Since their formation 10 years ago, they've relied on the extremely similar song structures and lyrical content to keep the scene kids swooning, despite their several member replacements. With 2013 being the year of sound alteration for bands that fell into the same category, could it be possible that on Blessthefall could be influenced to stop rehashing and start revising? The answer is no, and it comes in the form of their new album 'Hollow Bodies'.
'Hollow Bodies' is an album that can be perfectly described by the title of the first track, 'Deja Vu'. Everything on this album you have heard before from the Post-Hardcore scene, with harsh screams, whiny cleans and lyrics of teenage angst being the consistently contributing factors that echo genericness. The song structures are identical to the band's previous albums. A harshly yelled verse, a soaringly whined chorus and an overused breakdown is featured on every song but 'Open Water', a bland, electronics fuelled ballad with boring vocals replacing the breakdowns.
There are a few positives on this album that keep it from reaching the depths of atrociousness. The guest contributions on this album are the highlights of the mediocrity that surround them, with Jesse Barnett (Stick To Your Guns), Jake Luhrs (August Burns Red) and Lights making interesting appearances on somewhat bland songs. Pierce The Veil's Vic Fuentes was also involved in the writing process of the track 'See You On The Outside', making it stand out from the other tracks on the album in an enjoyable way. Instrumentally, guitarists Elliot Gruenberg and Eric Lambert show rays of talent when in comparison to the inaudible bass and repetitive drums, but they shroud it with uncreative structures and breakdowns. Vocally, Jake Luhrs is as strong as ever with deep roars and harsh shrieks adding a sense of heaviness to each track. Beau Bokan however, is as whiny and bland as usual, making each sung part of each song something you want to skip.
Overall, 'Hollow Bodies' is an almost exact imitation of the bands previous efforts. Everything that appears on this album is extremely similar to what is present on 'Awakening', 'Witness' and 'His Last Walk'. With each rehashed breakdown, repeated chorus and angst fuelled lyric, Blessthefall's relevance decreases and will soon be non existent.If Bokan and co. don't initiate a deep revision of their talent and songwriting ability, their repetition will plague their preaches and soon Blessthefall will only be the lost memories of a former scene kid.