A solid debut from a promising group – Hollowform will appeal to fans of prog and djent alike, with satisfying traits for both ends.

Release date: June 28, 2019 | Independent | Facebook | Bandcamp

Fresh out of Atlanta, Georgia, Spirit Healer come charging with their debut record. Hollowform was released just at the end of June and it is a firm testament to the qualities of Spirit HealerHollowform also boasts an interesting concept behind it. It is set in an alternate world where a form of theocratic totalitarianism is the norm, following a protagonist who after much personal turmoil is caught in the battle of dethroning this regime.

The album is thoughtfully put together with a lot of good taste and a forward thinking mindset. While this statement may sound like a stretch as soon as you hear the high-gain, alternating staccato riffs, bear with me here, it’s not your run of the mill djent even in the slightest. Running for nearly three quarters of an hour, I’m surprised to note that there is little to no filler. The other surprising trait is how the vocals are contrasted. We meet the usual, clean/growl setting, however, with a twist. Where most bands are mired in a half/half balance or in merely just some clean lines cutting through the screaming/growling, Spirit Healer gracefully drives most of the vocal action forward with a sweet, clean, and melodic sound with only some screaming for contrast; which is strategically added where the songs get heavier – for a proper and full punch.

“The Deep Warm Dark” opens up the action of the record with some ominously orchestrated cinematic tune which abruptly goes straight into the meaty metallic goodness that makes up most of the flavor. While across the next three tracks there is a focus on a more upbeat vibe with strong melodic leanings, the ending of “Incredible Views” slams us with a nice and heavy breakdown accompanied by some proper screaming. “A Memory of the Ritual” opens up with a riff that bears a resemblance to the intro riff of “Perpetual Black Second” by Meshuggah. It just so happens that this song is also the heaviest hitting one off the record. Over the course of the next two songs, the album further expands the previously laid down nuances, which leads us to our closer, longest song, and most progressively inclined of the songs. “Zero at the Bone” traverses all of the mapped musical terrain and condenses the essence of the album quite aptly. It is not only a fitting closer but a fitting epitome as well.

Spirit Healer worked out a way to make a metal album with a djent timbre that doesn’t sound like another benign rehash of a rehash. On top of that, the band manages to create a nice diversity in the way they approach the dynamic of the sounds on the record. It is quite reassuring that bands can come out of nowhere with a debut like this, it’s not only proof that we have a promising band working on music but also that there is still plenty of potential out there. I quite enjoyed Hollowform and I’m certain plenty of others will as well.

Robert Miklos

Robert Miklos

What can I say? I love slapping keys and listening to squiggly air.

Leave a Reply