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Album Reviews : Naberus – Hollow

By on July 28, 2018

Melbourne’s Naberus have released their massive new album Hollow. Since unleashing Reveries and it’s 2016 follow up The Lost Reveries, Naberus stand as having produced some of the catchiest, most memorable tracks out of Melbourne’s thriving heavy scene. This album Hollow is a monumental offering that presents Naberus’ signature stylistic plurality across the melodic modern metal spectrum.

With Hollow, Naberus have taken their uncanny knack for addictively memorable melody lines to a new level. The first half of the album is laden tracks featuring catchy leads layered over the heavy bouncy rhythm section. Energetic aggression explodes from Slaves, with its clean vocal chorus seamlessly soaring over tough breakdowns. More hardcore-influenced attitude comes through in Space To Breathe that boasts a cinematic opening hook that snowballs into metalcore-style vocal delivery. This song has kind of old-school nu-metal textures through some of its movements that is refreshing to hear. A more chaotic vibe characterises Split In Two, swinging between frantic, fast and mid pace dynamics and once again, memorable clean vocals woven with harsher grittier vocal sound tied together with edgy leads and a relentless drums onslaught.

Split In Two and Shadows exemplify the intensity of Naberus’ dual vocal style. Shadows lean towards a more melodic death sound, as arguably the heaviest track on Hollow. Distinctive melodies are a mainstay in Naberus’ writing style. It is in lyrically driven songs such as title track Hollow with its galloping rhythm and seething rage, and the anthem-style clean chorus of the curiously dark song I Disappear that ones really sees the essence what makes Naberus so distinctive.

In keeping with the model set out on The Lost Reveries, Hollow offers a richly endowed fourteen-track listing. The second half of the album contains some of the strongest songs. Tracks such as Seas Of Red and The Burrow are notable for their fuller, more epic sound that retains Naberus’ melodic, lyric-driven strengths. Seas of Red drops some thick as hell breakdowns underneath one of the best clean vocal lines on the album. The Burrow returns to acknowledge their melodic death metal influence, placing prevalence on the guttural vocals. The guitars bring a slightly discordant twist dusted over some interesting rhythmic patterns to mix it up into a dense and engaging track. Rounding out the album at track fourteen, The Depths opens fire with a deranged lead and heavy hitting energy, the whole track crescendos into a tough mid-pace snarlingly unnerving experience before pulling right back to a eerily spacey mellow section and back into a crushing outro, showing off the extent to which Naberus can pull dynamics to extremes, to maximum effect.

Hollow moves from strength to strength through its extensive track listing. The only aspect of the considerable duration time that may be noteworthy is that as a whole, it is difficult to harness the overarching aims of the album. While Naberus is clearly a highly productive band, and undoubtedly have an inexhaustible reservoir of inspiration and skill, greater focus on the macro-concept of the album would dictate some thematic precision and concentrate Naberus’ considerable strength for composition, granting each track more space to shine. Overall, however, Hollow is an intense, vibrant album that delivers an impressive showcase of Naberus’ ever-memorable, high-energy, well-constructed songs.

Band: Naberus
Album: Hollow
Year: 2018
Genre: Metal
Label: Eclipse Records
Origin: Australia
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