Born Hollow - Live in Peace, Die in Peace

Born Hollow is a beast of a Hardcore band from Greensboro, North Carolina; “Live in Peace, Die in Peace” is their third E.P. since forming in 2010. It's three tracks fly by in under 8 minutes, but in that brief span, they show significant progression since their 2012 releases, “Sex”, and “The End is Near, The End is Here”, respectively.

The opening minute of “White Flag” features a somewhat tribal-style chant accompanied by a hand-drum. I can't place the language, but it rings with familiarity, perhaps from nightmares or a previous existence in which I was cursed. When placed under droning feedback, it's sort of creepy, and brings to mind a backwoods conjuring of Legba before transitioning into a “pit-tacular” Hardcore riff for the final minute. A simple, yet effective intro track to give you a hint of what else is coming.

“Neon Lust” then comes in with fury, and circle-pit-inspiring speed. A couple breakdowns punctuate the intensity of this track, offering a chance for everyone to go bat-shit crazy at the show, no matter what mosh style you may prefer. I'm picturing a couple skinny kids doing spin-kicks before each side crushes them in a “wall of death” when everything picks back up after the first breakdown. The urge to see this band live begins to grow stronger within me.

The final section offers the kind of riff that makes you nod your head, and make what I call, “whiskey face”. A grimace that signifies either an awful smell, an over-powering flavor, or an incredibly tasty riff. In fact, I'd say these riffs have over-powering flavor in general. Probably not a bad soundtrack for pounding whiskey and raising hell either, now that I think about it. Not that I need much of an excuse to want to do either of those things.

The final track, “Human Garbage” is a rage-filled diatribe over the top of more frenetic riffing. A great, big “fuck you” of a breakdown comes in at around a minute to drive home the anger, and leave it whirling around your head as feedback fades, bringing this e.p. full circle. Born Hollow does not sound happy, and that makes me happy, but not in a Schadenfruede kind of way. This band is pissed off, so you don't have to be, or maybe they're here to provide musical accompaniment for your next mental meltdown. This is heavy, cathartic, Hardcore that can add a little groove to the brutality without sounding even remotely like Pantera.

While their previous two releases also feature plenty of speedy Hardcore riffs, and downright nasty breakdowns, Born Hollow appear to be coming into their own sound a bit more on “Live in Peace, Die in Peace”. The vocals lend to the sincerity of the anger, and make this an almost therapeutic listen, along with the aforementioned tasty riffing. This is a must-listen for anyone who considers themselves a fan of early '00s Metalcore. Especially so if you grew a little bored with it's formulaic nature, and want something new. In short, this is basically everything I like about modern Metalcore, but without the predictability or “slickness”, and without a single shred of pretentiousness.

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