Metalcore as a genre has evolved a lot from its early days. There have been countless bands that pushed the boundaries of its genre, and these bands influenced countless acts that followed them. Nowadays, most metalcore bands have changed their sound, and usually adopt a slightly new musical direction. Sometimes, this works, and other times, it falters. Metalcore is an extremely finnicky genre tag, and it’s hard to find where we draw the line between metalcore, deathcore, melodic hardcore, and so on. Hollow Bones, however, are a band from White Plains, New York that have released a brand new album titled Lionheart, and they’re making a stand with this album that they know exactly what modern metalcore is and what it should sound like.
The album is 30 minutes of great metalcore. Now, normally I’m not into this stuff as heavily as I once was, but something about the music caught my attention. The vocals are great, and the cleans are spectacular. The riffs that are all over these songs are insane. Just listen to the first two tracks, “Wandering Sparrow” and “The November Diaries” and tell me that you don’t just want to headbang and go crazy in the pit. It’s maddingly catchy, and a lot of this has to do with how the music comes together. It’s evident that this music was written with a lot of thought and care, and fortunately, this means that it doesn’t come out all sounding alike. A common pitfall of metalcore is writing the same song for an album 10 times, and fortunately for the band, they’ve managed to evade the issue entirely and write an album filled with unique songs that are easily separated from one another.
The high point of the album, however, remains Sharon Malfesi‘s cleans. I think female vocals in metal are awesome, and you can’t tell me that you don’t enjoy them, even if it’s the slightest bit. Hearing he sing the chorus in “Altruistic Lung” makes me want to scream the lines along with her, and it’s very hard to think that the vocals aren’t catchy, because they’re akin to pop vocal lines. They’re written, and sung, to get stuck in your head so that you learn every note, every word, and so you can sing along live. Her vocals, coupled with Patrick Anthony‘s harsh vocals, create a perfect pairing for their sound. Sharon had this to say about the album:
Conceptually, we wanted to discuss humanity on the deepest, rawest level. In the sense of lending a hand to your fellow man in need instead of constantly beating each other down. We also wanted to take the listener through a journey of different relatable emotions. Such as loss, of any kind really. To death, of a lover, of yourself. We were just hoping to reach other people who are as passionate about music as we are.
This album makes me hopeful that the band will get on some great tours, and begin to really make a name for themselves, because this band has all the potential in the world, and if they live up to it, they’ll go places. Be sure to check out the band’s Bandcamp to pick up their new album, and follow them on Facebook for more updates, including upcoming tour dates!