Helium Horse Fly - Hollowed review




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Band: Helium Horse Fly
Album: Hollowed
Release date: January 2019


01. Happiness
02. In A Deathless Spell
03. Algeny
04. Progeny
05. Monochrome
06. Shelter


Ah, yes, avant-garde. The thing that is defined by not being like others. And indeed, Helium Horse Fly don't sound that much like anyone else other than that one recurring nightmare from your childhood.

No, their sound is neither a blend of two genres that nobody thought to combine nor a chaotic mess of genre jumps. Helium Horse Fly mostly tread familiar waters, music that feels like prog rock or jazz or art rock or post-metal, but always kept in quite an uncanny valley of uneasiness and discomfort. They've been doing it for ten years already, though it's been five years since their previous and only other full-length record, so here comes Hollowed to make us feel pleasingly uncomfortable again.

And if the music actually does remind me of another band, it would be Kayo Dot, due to the omnipresence of that airy feeling that maintains eeriness and always threatens to explode, which it sometimes does, but a lot of the emphasis is on that dark atmosphere before. So with all this atmosphere built, Marie's voice sounds especially odd on top of it. Feeling less sung at times and more assertive, you'd expect her to feel the uneasiness but instead her voice feels assertive, as if she is in a way speaking directly to the listener and informing him about the curses that he's witnessing and the danger that lurks. Informing, not warning. If anything, it actually seduces you towards the danger.

There is still a lot to be appreciated about this album from a technical point of view. Like I said, a lot of the music is rooted in jazzy prog rock/metal, so a lot of the more explosive sections as well as a lot of riffs feel a lot like some Damnation-era Opeth or something from Riverside or Porcupine Tree's darkest moments. But add some throbbing drones and glitchy and discordant instrumentals and the album gets a whole different dreamlike quality. And not necessarily the most pleasant kind of dream, if I haven't made that clear by now. And due to how patiently they construct their music and how much emphasis there is on mood, it feels like an eternity spent in an inescapable catatonic state.

So even if at points Hollowed does sound like something else other bands have made, there's very few albums of the sort that I could actually say that they're hard to listen to without it sounding like an insult. It's not. Hollowed is hard to listen to and that's exactly why you should do it.


 



Written on 07.02.2019 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 4   Visited by: 95 users
09.02.2019 - 00:26
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
What.... are these fuckers.... DOING HERE?
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Now who should I call? Should I call Mr. Strawberry?
No, I don't think I'll call Mr. Strawberry. I don't think he's taking calls.
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09.02.2019 - 06:32
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Apothecary on 09.02.2019 at 00:26

What.... are these fuckers.... DOING HERE?

Man does this album perfectly fit in that uncanny valley
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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09.02.2019 - 10:48
nikarg
Old Nick
Much of avant-garde labeled stuff sounds nothing more than shit to my ears. But I have lately discovered that your suggestions often click with me even when outside of my comfort zone and I'm glad I checked this out. Great vocals and atmosphere, inventive musicianship and performance, a feeling of building up and ready to explode but not exploding as often as you would expect. Astonishing artwork too, as is the case with their previous releases.
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Instagram
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09.02.2019 - 10:50
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by nikarg on 09.02.2019 at 10:48

Much of avant-garde labeled stuff sounds nothing more than shit to my ears. But I have lately discovered that your suggestions often click with me even when outside of my comfort zone and I'm glad I checked this out. Great vocals and atmosphere, inventive musicianship and performance, a feeling of building up and ready to explode but not exploding as often as you would expect. Astonishing artwork too, as is the case with their previous releases.

I found that a lot of stuff labeled avantgarde is labeled as such cuz sounds like other stuff labeled avantgarde
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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