Saturday, October 29, 2016

CD Review: THEM Sweet Hollow

THEM
Sweet Hollow
Empire Records
Back in May I reviewed the advance promo for this full length entitled Fear Them. It had three tracks to appear on the concept album Sweet Hollow: Forever Burns, Dead of Night and Blood From Blood. As I stated in that review, Them began as a King Diamond tribute band that eventually gravitated toward composing original material. I remember being grateful to hear this since there are far too many tribute bands around, and not as much room for originals. Now I’m even more grateful since in the process of writing their own songs Them has become a musical juggernaut of sorts, combining several subgenres and raising the “epic” bar significantly. Being that Troy Norr and Cold Steel made a comeback in 2013 with American Idle, the recognition that album received still scratches the surface of the potential of his new band. Them is an “all star” ensemble comprised by members of Cold Steel, Mike Le Pond’s Silent Assassins, Suffocation, Lanfear and Sylencer. Together they create a conceptual recording that few Long Island bands have yet to reach, perhaps with the exception of MaelstroM with the songs they are working on for their upcoming full length (three of those songs are available on their EP It Was Predestined). There is a healthy buzz going around about Sweet Hollow and having heard it for my own edification I am truly awed. The concept it is built around is making its presence known in time for Halloween. It’s based on an actual location in Long Island said to be haunted by the spirit of a young girl named Mary (to read about this urban legend do a Google search or two). The narrative takes place is October 1890, a year after the Hawthorne family moved to Mt. Misery in Long Island. What to expect as it progresses is a concoction of graveyards, black magic, vengeful spirits, scared townspeople, possession, murder, and most notably a local carnival and its host, the German born Klaus Konig Fossor who is an integral character. The tale is so well thought out with such a surprise twist ending I prefer not to ruin any of the developments for you. This is a dark world you mist explore on your own. I can say you won’t regret taking the time. By far one of metal’s finest moments of 2016, music wise and story wise. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Rebirth
2. Forever Burns
3. Down the Road to Misery
4. Ghost in the Graveyard
5. The Quiet Room
6. Dead of Night
7. FestEvil
8. The Crimson Corpse
9. Blood From Blood
10. The Harrowing Road to Hollow
11. Salve
12. When the Clock Struck Twelve

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