There are no distorted chords, screaming vocals, no sweeping, shredding solos, so what caught my attention? When Sentinel Daily Big Kahuna, Scott Adams, sent out a spreadsheet with the schedule of albums coming out to review and assorted links to get a feel of the band I found there was something in the song Numbed by Finnish band At The Hollow, that piqued my interest. In the schedule listing the band is coined as Experimental Rock, I’m thinking that is as good as any as they could fit in the Alt-Rock, Indie Rock or Symphonic Rock genres, but let’s go with Experimental.
The sound is fresh, mainly clean or acoustic but with such an amazing, dark atmospheric feel to the songs that draws me in. The heavy use of the songs written in minor keys makes the atmosphere quite melancholic. The dark atmospherics are really created by the use of the contrabass (sometimes known as a double bass) that is quite unique and brings such a full sound to the music alongside outstanding percussive interaction. Right from the outset you are introduced to this experience with the opening track Paleface and it only draws you in deeper throughout the album until the epic and frantic finish in Echoes. The vocals from Kalle Koo add to the experience, singing mournfully and pleading desperately through the lyrics for someone to help or asking the question Was it Worth It.
I am not able to compare At The Hollow to any other band that I have heard in the metal or rock genres, which is quite a change for my years. Though the closest I can come may be Apocalyptica but that is only from their use of Cellos. I like to undertake a comparison as that is usually the best way to give an idea on whether you, the avid listener, can get an idea of whether you may like to give the album a go. For me, I’ll let you know I have listened to the album about eight times today and am finding the whole sound becoming quite addictive, finding something new in each composition.
At The Hollow are: Risto Järvelin – percussion; Kalle Koo – guitar & vocals; Juho Martikainen – contrabass. Coming from diverse backgrounds they are able to bring a range of topics to sing about. Koo is a well-known and well respected Tattoo artist with over 20 years in the industry, Martikainen has played a small role as a classical double bass player with the Von Hertzen Brothers. Whatever they have, they have been able to bottle it in this live performance and it is a very good mix.
The album is We Are The Night (Live) recorded at Helldone Festival on New Years Eve 2015 supporting HIM. The album is a follow up to their debut, What I Hold Most Dear, released in 2015. There are five tracks from the debut album and five new ones that are slated for the new release.
- Second Time
- Shortest Draw
- From The Streets
- Hypocrite One
- Was It Worth It
The best tracks for me are Paleface, Second Time, Numbed, Otherside and Was It Worth It but just to confirm I find myself going back for just one more listen…
We Are The Night is out now, available from Suomen Musiikki.