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Hauntologist - Hollow review




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Band: Hauntologist
Album: Hollow
Release date: January 2024


01. Ozymandian
02. Golem
03. Waves Of Concrete
04. Deathdreamer
05. Hollow
06. Autotomy
07. Gardermoen
08. Car Kruków


Do you ever think Mgła just isn't post-metal enough? Hauntologist are here to deliver that very premise.

Considering how celebrated Mgła's brand of melodic and nihilistic black metal became even out of an already well regarded Polish scene in the past two decades, it's no wonder that they'd also become quite an influential act. Influence can range from taking some cues to sounding nigh identical, with examples like Non Est Deus's Legacy and the entire existence of Groza being testaments to how much some bands and albums share their DNA with Mgła. It's a bit harder to put into words because what Mgła do isn't really that out of the ordinary for black metal, but when you hear it, it's unmistakably theirs. So with how much that sound became their trademark even when other bands attempt it, to have it be less eyebrow raising in hearing another band tackle a similar sound Hauntologist is actually comprised of Mgła members.

I don't like to overanalyze a band's lineup, but with this being a duo I think there's something very interesting at play here. See, this is the most classic case of a duo where you have a drummer and an everything-else-er. And while I said that both of them are Mgła, that isn't entirely true. Darkside, the drummer, is a Mgła member, and that's a huge benefit because of how much his drumming is not only a huge staple of that sound but his cymbal riding abilities especially are so notorious that I'd consider him in discussion for the best metal drummers period. But The Fall, the everything-else-er, is only a live bassist of Mgła, while also participating in a lot of adjacent bands like Medico Peste, Owls Woods Graves, and Over The Voids, so to hear him be able to ace that sound so well in terms of the guitars and vocals does make me wish he'd actually be involved in the songwriting whenever a new Mgła comes around.

And I mentioned how the direction is a bit more post-metal, and that "a bit" does differ from track to track. A lot of Hollow is still almost identical stylistically to a Mgła album, and doing a very good job at not only reproducing the sound but understanding how to make it as compelling as the real thing (which makes sense considering the lineup). But the bits and pieces of outside sounds do rear their head in the more the album goes on, from the ambient and spoken word of the "Waves Of Concrete" interlude that sound more like something that Agalloch would use as an interlude, to how the atmosphere of "Deathdreamer" eventually gives way to some post-metal melodies before the title track does away with the black metal entirely to create something akin to a more neofolky take on a Planning For Burial song. The melodies in "Gardermoen" also sound quite alien to the black metal and more like if Dordeduh tried to make a post-punk song, and the album ends with more post-rock spoken word in the closer, complete with some very odd instrumentation.

There's more to Hollow than just being a dose of Mgła until we get an actual Mgła album, and it does it's job of both acing that very specific black metal sound and doing some interesting things on its own to warrant me feeling a bit guilty for underutilizing the band's actual name in the review and just namedropping the "mother" band every other sentence.






Written on 14.01.2024 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments

Comments: 14   Visited by: 137 users
14.01.2024 - 21:19
nikarg

The Mgła element is very prominent (even the fonts of the 'Haunt' part are the same), so you shouldn't feel guilty for namedropping the 'mother' band so much. I pretty much agree with everything you wrote, and I especially want to emphasize how the album gets more and more interesting as it progresses, and, in the end, I feel that I have listened to a post- or post-black metal album rather than a black metal one. In any case, this was a surprise, and a very pleasant one, because it is very likely that it will end up in my year-end list.
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15.01.2024 - 04:01
Rating: 8
Uxküll

Will have to give this one a listen, Derridean metal.
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"Nullum unquam exstitit magnum igenium sine aliqua dementia [there was never great genius without some madness]."

Best of Metal A-Z: http://metalstorm.net/users/lists.php?user_id=158339
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15.01.2024 - 08:52
Rating: 9
DarkWingedSoul

A real challenge would have been to review this without mentioning the other band name anyways a great record to start the year with, it also fits the season, and the cover just shows an exact bleak picture of the weather and mood of the polish landscape at the moment.
i would expect this to be one of the best albums of this year...
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15.01.2024 - 10:56
Rating: 8
Nejde
CommunityManager
Radu only mentions Mgła 12 times in the review. I don't see the problem mentioning Mgła so many times since the album is made by Mgła members and the music is very similar to Mgła's. Also, Mgła is one of my favourite black metal bands and this album is literally a Mgła album that isn't made by Mgła. I've rated this an 8 for now but with more listens it will probably be upvoted to a 9 in due time. So while we're waiting for a new Mgła album this is a great substitute fo the actual Mgła.
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Bow to the King Hercules!
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15.01.2024 - 12:31
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Did I tell you guys that this kinda sounds like Mgła?
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Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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15.01.2024 - 13:08
Rating: 7
musclassia

I actually thought this album sounded a bit like Uada.

Jokes aside, it's pretty good stuff; I never got that into Mgla so I'm not that into this, but I do like the post-black slant to it
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15.01.2024 - 13:50
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by musclassia on 15.01.2024 at 13:08

I actually thought this album sounded a bit like Uada.

Fuck, I knew there was one band I forgot to namedrop in the "bands that sound like" section.
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Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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16.01.2024 - 13:50
BetulaObscura

Sounds like "Mgłachine"...
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"Inspired by the future of the past"
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17.01.2024 - 08:12
BetulaObscura

I have listened it. Album sounds OK (maybe I will listen it more in the future) however at some moments when it pretends to be more "progressive" - it fails. Or. I would rather say: it disappoints.
For example: last track shouldn't be included to album. It is 6 minutes "teen is talking about her dream" filler with some background gentle music. No deep thoughts here, no thrilling voice, no sophisticated language, etc. Just some speech which tries to be deeper than it is (about ravens, death, forest etc.) or it is just parody of typical BM themes. In both ways: it doesn't work for me. I never listen such "songs" again. The rest of the album is pretty much solid with some weaker parts here and there.
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"Inspired by the future of the past"
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17.01.2024 - 09:50
Rating: 9
Paz
Nuclear Cowboy
Written by BetulaObscura on 17.01.2024 at 08:12

last track shouldn't be included to album. It is 6 minutes "teen is talking about her dream" filler with some background gentle music. No deep thoughts here, no thrilling voice, no sophisticated language, etc. Just some speech which tries to be deeper than it is (about ravens, death, forest etc.) or it is just parody of typical BM themes. In both ways: it doesn't work for me.

Lol that's my fave track

I like it simply because it's completely different and out of their "comfort" zone.
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17.01.2024 - 12:13
BetulaObscura

You can play literally anything to leave your comfort zone.
It is easy. You just play something different than usual stuff.
[Furia did it... and failed]

For me: leaving comfort zone should be done in style.
What happened here on the last track was poor attempt to mimic deep waters with puddle of mud.

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"Inspired by the future of the past"
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19.01.2024 - 20:25
Rating: 7
Archie 666

I feel like those guys from Mgła could probably make a lot of albums that sound like this. And they do.
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24.01.2024 - 05:00
Rating: 9
tintinb

Some of the more post metal tracks sounded like some songs I have heard from blur. Especially the song gardermoen. Incidentally it is also my favourite song of the album.
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Leeches everywhere.
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14.02.2024 - 16:56
Rating: 9
Samot

This is Gold!!
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Um, Dois, Três, Quatro! Yeah! PORRA!!!
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