It’s probably a tad unfair to label Grand Rapid, Michigan metalcore crew Hollow Front as “up ‘n’ comers” given that The Price of Dreaming is now their third album. However, in a scene which regularly swallows up bands for them never to be seen or heard from again, it does feel like the group has its claws well and truly sunken into the scene and with this polished, if slightly unsurprising collection of songs, they show no signs of loosening that grip.

Starting with negatives of Hollow Front being a metalcore band in 2022, the main one being that it doesn’t take long into the “In The Spotlight” and “Comotose” before you start to play metalcore bingo. Clean and harsh vocals – check. Pristine almost poppy melodies – check. Crunchy breakdowns – check. Synths and pianos – check. It’s all there throughout the duration of the album meaning that, if your ears are growing weary of this genre, you might struggle to get excited by anything the Grand Rapids outfit serves up on The Price of Dreaming.

The positives of the record mainly come down to the fact that when the band hit their groove as they do on tracks like “Comatose” and “Thick as Blood,” they sound absolutely huge. Polished to the point where you can see your reflection grinning back at you, the sugary melodies squeezed out by the group send their songs sky high. If that isn’t your thing though, then let the guys throw you into the moshpit with the ferocity that wrestles with those haunting melodies on the title track or let the crushing “Better Off” leave you in two minds as to whether you want to scream till your throat bleeds or throw down hard in that pit. Don’t worry that you’ll make the wrong choice because, believe us, whichever direction you go, you’ll feel a tonne better for the experience.

During the second half of the album, the band goes down a more thunderous metalcore route for offerings like “Dear Sons” and “Treading Water” before the meandering “Two Worlds Away” brings the record crashing back to earth. Thankfully, normal service is resumed as the group rage through “Changeling” and “Heritage” before wrapping up things with one final throat-punishing effort in the form of “Running Away.” It’s an emotional end to an album that ticks all the right boxes for the genre but does so in a way that will win the band a fair few fans along their journey.

The Price of Dreaming Track Listing:

1. In The Spotlight
2. Comatose
3. Self Sabotage
4. Thick As Blood
5. The Price of Dreaming
6. Better Off
7. Dear Sons
8. Treading Water
9. Two Worlds Away
10. Changeling
11. Heritage
12. Running Away

Run Time: 42:30
Release Date: May 27, 2022
Record Label: UNFD

Author

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.