The metalcore scene has gone through many changes evolving from the likes of The Devil Wears Prada to what we see today with bands like Bring Me the Horizon. Change isn’t usually a bad thing it’s how the band applies that change, sometimes they sound like everyone else and other times they turn out to be really good. Fortunately for Dallas based Memphis May Fire, the later applies to them with their heaviest album to date in their catalogue, “The Hollow” which came out back in 2011 on Rise Records.
The opener The Hollow shows what the band is all about in 3 gut wrenching minutes, combining clean vocals and dirty screams which are both done by the red hair devil Matty Mullins who is the a big driving force behind the record. Vocally the record shines, it shows the range of Mullins’s clean voice and then shows how his screaming vocals can be just as deadly. Leaving out the rest of the band would not be fair because they also go to work throughout the record. The Abandoned is where guitarists Kellen McGregor and Ryan Bentley go off, sharing powerful chords back and forth making them both on top of their game and possible two of the best guitarists in the scene. The Deceived and The Commanded both stand out on their own and are two best tracks on the records, mixing melodies done by both McGregor and Bentley and the perfect screaming that Mullins is so good at. The Commanded has a little more punch in it, incorporating a lot of orchestral sounds in the mix making it song that should’ve have come out on its own as a single.
The album falls short on the second half but still songs like The Haunted that as a different approach than the rest of the record, the chorus has Mullins voices working effectively with each and every instrument. The breakdown in the song stands out from the rest having an interesting keyboard portion while still staying true to their heavy roots. “The Hollow” is a good place to pick up on the band and start from there while their next two releases weren’t as heavy but still really good. The 2011 release is all around great album, it tries something new but still staying to what it’s supposed to be a metalcore album with a lot meat it had a lot undertones that Mullins faced so each song has story behind and each is so carefully crafted which in itself makes for a good record and the end of the day.
Check them out on Facebook and on tour with We Came as Romans and Miss May I.
By Raza Malik