Song Review: Forty Fathoms – “Hollow Head”

Song Review: Forty Fathoms – “Hollow Head”

Song: “Hollow Head”
Band: Forty Fathoms
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
Date of Release: 01/07/15
Genre: Metalcore
Reviewer: Thrillhouse
For Fans Of: The Ghost Inside, Stick To Your Guns, Buried in Verona
Why They Aren’t Famous: They live in the USA and they’re not a parody band or YouTuber

I’m terrible at thinking of introductions for reviews, so let’s just jump straight into it:

I hadn’t heard of Forty Fathoms until I was perusing our submission list last week. Due to their name, I immediately assumed they would be some crappy, local Parkwaycore band that squeezes more nautical references into their songs than should legally be allowed by international maritime law. Instead, I was greeted by what I can only describe as the bastard child of The Ghost Inside and Stick To Your Guns (Stick To Your Ghosts? Stick Your Guns Inside? The Ghost Stick?)… But in a (kind of) good way.

The guitar work in ‘Hollow Head’ toes the fine line between interesting and boring – throwing in some interesting riffage, that unfortunately often dissolves into stock-standard genericore instrumentation. The staccato, gated chugs, for example, would have sounded amazing… If you released this song like 5 years ago. Too many bands have used that exact same idea already, and it’s too late in the game for you guys to catch up, sorry.
The guitar tones featured were all fairly decent – but again; nothing new. High-gain, compressed, EMGs-into-5150/6505 sounding metalcore tones. Whoever wrote these riffs has a good ear and can write some really interesting stuff, BUT they’re too faithful to the metalcore sound. And that sound is dead.
The bass kinda just rumbles along in the very back of the room… Not really doing much more than occupy some low-end frequencies that the de-tuned guitars are unfortunately encroaching on, anyway. I liked the overdriven bass tone, but I felt as if it kind of contributed to the clash going on with the distorted guitars invading the bass player’s sonic territory.

As for the other half of the rhythm section: I wasn’t too taken by the drums, to be perfectly honest. Standard beats and fills for the genre, but pulled off just fine. I find drums so hard to talk about in reviews, because there’s just not a lot of variation in sound and technique between the majority of drummers I hear through IPHYB. Everyone does the same crap, and it’s just so hard for anyone to be exceptional at writing and performing percussive pieces. I know that sounds pretty negative, but I don’t think this drummer is BAD – just not memorable.

As for the vocals: I think the vocals were the strongest aspect of the track – they were about the only thing that really held my interest. The heavy vocals were delivered extremely well, and the slight use of clean sections, and complimenting clean backing vocals, really did a lot for the overall sound.
But Mr Vocalist, don’t get a big head – because the lyrics, on the other hand, were kinda lame. Screaming “Give it up” that much just makes me think about ‘Unspoken’ by The Ghost Inside. And that’s a much better song.

So all in all, I enjoyed the song, but I feel as if you guys are a bit too late to the party by going for this sound. The songwriting in itself is fine, and I feel like this would make an awesome gym song, but maybe you should look into trying to incorporate some new styles and techniques in your writing. Solid band, solid video, just keep improving and there’s no reason why you guys couldn’t get pretty big.

Vocals – Screams: 7/10 Cleans 7/10
Guitars: 7/10
Bass: 6/10
Drums: 7/10
Production: 6.5/10
Lyrics: 6/10
Songwriting: 7/10
Overall IPHYB Rating: 7/10
Personal Enjoyment: 8/10

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