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Pretty solid NWOBHM here. - 87%

Tzitzis, December 21st, 2014
Written based on this version: 1980, 7" vinyl, Guardian Records n' Tapes (Limited Edition)

What we got here is a very underrated, underground NWOBHM band which is marked as a huge influence by many thrash metal bands. It's 1980 and this is the year that many bands in the movement get their 1st albums released. Here we have a pretty solid effort, a nice ol' 4 song EP from Hollow Ground. Talk about that straightforward, in your face kind of NWOBHM by this band! Pretty badass.

The EP starts off with "Flying High" a mid-tempo melancholic tune with pounding drums and high melody. The singing fits perfectly with the melody, the solo is a pure masterpiece and there are some great riffs here too. On to "Warlord" which has a certain rock touch to its sound, but the solo is again loud and metal. "Rock On" is a classic rocker, 70's style, slower than the other songs on the EP. Nothing fancy here, nothing memorable really. The last track "Don't Chase the Dragon", has a kind of galloping riff, a more aggressive sound than the other songs. The bridge and chorus is so powerful and the singing goes along with them. In this song one can really see the potential these guys had. It's the more powerful song here, with great riffing, aggressive (in your face) sound, the whole song is really badass.

Production is really what everyone excepts back in 1980 for an underground band. It ain't crystal clear or raw either. Instruments can be heard clear although there is this fuzzy feeling. As for the lyrics, the lads did a good job, they fit with the music perfectly. Don't get me wrong, there are no poets either but who was back then..? Last but not least, I don't know many NWOBHM bands that wrote a song about heroin or drugs in general, I don't know anyone in fact. So I find it cool that these guys tried to send their own message about drugs back then. I like to think that they were on fight with Persian Risk who wrote "Chase the Dragon" haha (not funny I know).

Well, all in all, this is a pretty solid effort from Hollow Ground. Good riffing, good solos, nice bit of melody, more metal than rock. They are among the 1st NWOBHM bands and one can really see the difference that their sound had from rock music. It's an encouraging effort really and these guys got to release another demo in '81. I really like this EP and this band, very underrated and underground, but major influence on thrash metal bands. It really has everything you want to hear from a NWOBHM record: Great riffs, powerful solos, melodic choruses and a pretty badass touch to its sound. Hell yeah. This is a must have for NWOBHM collectors, and a great EP too, what more could anyone ask for!?