Castor’s Hollow captures the fire and spirit of mid-2000s post-hardcore and metalcore on their debut full-length, Shape and Void.
Much like the career-defining records from Norma Jean, Underoath, and similar bands from that era, Castor’s Hollow‘s debut is full of emotion and staggering riffs. Frantic guitar work, battering breakdowns, and potent melodies are put proudly on display throughout this eight-track release. The band definitely wear their influences on their sleeves and while they don’t do much to deviate from said influences, they clearly are fueled by passion for the style and not by simple nostalgia. This is made abundantly clear once the record begins.
The one-two punch of “Survivor’s Remorse” and “Father’s Promise” immediately set the stage for what is to come. “Survivor’s Remorse” is rife with angular riff-shapes and violent, stuttering panic chord assaults intermingled with brooding hardcore verses and fiery vocal work. “Father’s Remorse” then comes crashing in with galloping metallic riffs intertwined with fluttering guitar melodies, which eventually collide with off-kilter beatdowns and noise chords before rising triumphantly from the ashes for an emotive climax.
“Rue Barree” switches thing up a bit by melding glimmering, post-rock-esque instrumentation with steamrolling, stop-and-start melodic hardcore and concussive drumming. The hyperactive “Court of Dragons” churns endless palm-muted bruisers and dissonant breakdowns, while the two-minute barn burner “Down Never Comes” echoes The Big Dirty-era Every Time I Die with its heavy grooves and angular flourishes that drip with southern swagger.
Shape and Void is a thoroughly engaging and blood-pumping listen that recaptures a point in metalcore history and does it justice. It may not reinvent the wheel, but with riffs like these, who cares?
Release Date: February 8, 2019
Favorite Tracks: “Demoiselle”, “Rue Barree”, “Court of Dragons” and “Via Dolorosa”
For Fans Of: Norma Jean, Underoath, Greyhaven, The Drowned God and Old Wounds