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Kickass Early NWOBHM - 70%

DeathRiderDoom, November 22nd, 2009

Hollow Ground – Warlord

*Written for the 9th MA reviews challenge

Hollow Ground are a great Newcastle NWOBHM act that plays what can really be described as the straight up, no nonsense, classic style of NWOBHM. This is their first official release save the compilation they appeared on in the same year, and was released the year after they formed. Evident on this EP is a band with confidence, and a good grasp of melody, and significant allegiance to the 70’s hard rock sound. The result of these factors means the sound comes out sounding somewhat like legendary NWOBHM pioneers Quartz (of which I have reviews of all three albums here on MA). So, the result here is 4 solid classic NWOBHM tracks, let’s examine further…

‘Don’t Chase the Dragon’ is a badass hard-rocker with a plentiful amount of 70’s sounding riffage, and great melodic vocal touches. Meanwhile the title track retains much of the same classic 70’s rock sound. ‘Rock On’ is the slower number on the EP, but pounds along pretty nicely. As you can expect with songs of this subject matter, it’s never gonna be the strongest cut on the album, bit it’s still totally enjoyable. I enjoy the opening track ‘Flying High’ pounds along at mid tempo, with plenty of smashing drums coming through in the mix, along with awesome vocal phrasing, epic lyrics, and some determined hard riffing. Really quite an enjoyable mix of hard rock infused NWOBHM cuts – this one should be likely to get quite a number of spins for die-hard NWOBHMers.

Production is typically lo-fi – but that’s downright expected, and other than that there’s not a bad thing to say about the album. The bass is mixed nice and loud and clear, as it should be with this sorta thing, and you could say it has that classic NWOBHM production sound. I would firmly asset that this one is a NWOBHM offering worthy of your possession, and a decent example of the style in it’s earlier phase. This means the sound has stronger allegiances to 70’s pop rock and hard rock, with a focus on those classic NWOBHM vocal melodies we all know and love. There’s a slightly lower percentage of pure heavy metals in this compound, but believe me it still rocks out at full volume.