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Who would’ve thought that Entombed would turn into a death n roll outfit, particularly after their first two albums Left Hand Path and Clandestine (which both kick ass)? Hard to believe, but that is the path they chose, and we have to either deal with it or move on. Their 1993 EP Hollowman already shows Entombed in their death n roll era, and they are not about to change, as we know.
Now, I’ve heard very little Entombed beyond this point, so I can only go by what I hear here. As per the genre name, it’s quite rocky, which, in turn, is very catchy. You can’t help but start tapping your foot to the beats and use of the wah pedal on the guitar. I wouldn’t recommend other bands use it as much as Entombed do here, but here, it just tends to work. The solo on “Serpent Speech” has a very high wah usage, yet I quite like it. If that was used in, say, Incantation, then listeners would be in a state of “wtf” for a while. It won’t work there. It works here.
The drumming is more thrashed up than what it was on their first two albums. Again, it fits the death n roll style they’ve adopted, and keeps the songs plodding along. There’s nothing really outstanding with them…there’s no intricate fills, or catchy breaks from the drums. They are seemingly there to keep the songs afloat and nothing more. I will admit that the songs would’ve been that much more interesting had the drums taken a more dominant role.
The vocals still sound similar to what they did before, except he’s now using more of a harsh yell than a growl. It’s not a huge difference, but I’ve noticed it. It again fits the death n roll genre, and I like it.
As a whole, the EP isn’t too bad. The twelve seconds of silence between every song pisses me off, and the lack of normal vocals in “Wolverine Blues” leaves a little to be desired, but overall, it’s a solid EP that is overlooked by their earlier works. If you can find this EP, I would recommend getting it. Sure, it’s death n roll, and we like Entombed as a death metal band, but Hollowman is still a good release and should probably garner more attention than it currently gets.