Hollow Leg – Civilizations
Reviewed: January, 2019
Released: 2019, Argonauta Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Hollow Leg are one of the most reliable, working class doom bands in the scene today. Across 8 years and a respectable body of recorded work, the Florida based outfit have earned a reputation for straight ahead, riff centric sludge metal. Their soon to be released fourth LP, CIVILIZATIONS, carries that tradition forward, while also allowing the band to evolve their sound towards a grander and more satisfying output.
These 9 new tracks are a blend of C.O.C.’s bluesier, acid trip excursions cut with a few ounces of Weedeater’s perpetual rage juice, and then blessed with the psychedelic magic of Matt Pike’s amputated toe. Surprisingly, the band sounds like they’re stuck in first gear across the opening pair of tunes, but stick with it – there’s a payoff. “Mountains of Stone” is where the album really begins, and CIVILIZATIONS becomes an entirely different listen from this point forward.
The songs are full of passionate, cascading melodies and are equally matched with booming riffs that punch you square in the chest. Tunes like “Mountains”, “Black Moon”, “Hunter and the Hunted” and “Exodus” are earworms that will have you humming familiar passages well after the songs have faded out. The material in between leans more towards the traditional Hollow Leg vibe, but still kicks your ass with plenty of grooves that swing low and heavy.
CIVILIZATIONS is the kind of album that turns good bands into great bands. The added layers to Hollow Leg’s sound aren’t seismic changes, but it’s enough to separate this album from the rest of their catalog as a creative milestone. Kick back and play this one loud. Very loud.
2. Dirt Womb
3. Mountains of Stone
4. Black Moon
5. Hunter and the Hunted