YEAR FORMED: 1999
HOME TOWN: Colmar, Alsace - France
Laurent Michalak - Drums
Romain Fiorot - Bass
Mathieu Roszak - Guitar
Guillaume Schleret - Guitar
Stephane Azam - Vocals
Nestled in the wine district of Alsace near the northeastern border of the band’s native country, France’s HOLLOW CORP. comes from humble beginnings as the band Coverage, founded in 1999. Taking upon its current moniker in 2005, the band has all the while noisily - and masterfully - combined heavy metal’s raw intensity with a post-hardcore flair of dissonance and down-tempo sludge moments in the years since its inception. With the release of the band’s first album, Cloister of Radiance, in the fall of 2007 throughout Europe on Sweden’s Dental Records, HOLLOW CORP. ultimately caught the eye of both European press outlets and of Los Angeles-based Prosthetic Records, positioning the label to release Cloister of Radiance this coming fall throughout North America.
From the straight, galloping metal attack of “Sabbat” to the nearly 12-minute brooding and brewing “Peripherals” and the progressive juxtaposition of the focus track, “Thujon,” HOLLOW CORP. intriguingly melds a host of metal styles together that one may not first think conceivable. But, much like fellow, like-minded countrymen Gojira, HOLLOW CORP. manages to pull off a sound both progressive and pummeling without feeling standoffish. All the while, the breadth of Cloister of Radiance is both epic in scope and monstrous in sound, progressively roping in a wide array of sounds and subgenres, yielding a metallic outing with three songs over the eight-minute mark and nearly as many metal genres within its grasp.
Engineered and mixed in Switzerland with Julien Fehlmann and mastered in Sweden at Tonteknik Studio (In Flames, Entombed, Refused) by Magnus Lindberg and Pelle Henriccson, the initial, European release of Cloister of Radiance led to the production of a promotional video for the eight-minute album-closer “Thujon” with The 7th Eye (7e Oeil) production studio. Edited down to four-minutes and featuring eerie imagery, dusky atmosphere and the band’s intense, pummeling performance footage, the clip only begins to succumb to the culture of Cloister of Radiance, only beginning to illustrate HOLLOW CORP.’s unique vision on extreme music.
A feat better left to a straight-through experience with Cloister of Radiance’s nearly 60 minutes of music over the course of eight tracks, summing up the vision of HOLLOW CORP.’s music might best be ingested as a whole. Wholly original and feverishly fresh, Cloister of Radiance’s North American release will expose hordes of metalheads to a progressive sound entirely HOLLOW CORP.’s own, a sound, arguably, yet to be experienced on this side of the Atlantic.
*Photo Credit: Steve Josch