16 February 2017

Review: Seasons Hollow – To Suffocate Silence EP

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Seasons Hollow, a five-piece rock band from Hereford, emerge on the music scene for the first time with their EP, To Suffocate Silence.  Looking online at their social media, they appear a serious outfit.  For better or worse, this raises expectations.  For a new band releasing music for the first time, a reviewer has no choice but to put their critical hat on, in the hope of being constructive, which always fills me with some apprehension.

The EP opens with some nice chunky guitar and some good drum work.  The double kick work is especially tight.  It becomes clear pretty early that they are a band with a lot of musical experience.  Mature lyric writing and instrumental arrangement throughout, they aren’t a band falling into the pitfalls many bands do with their early music.

The screaming in song 7 was a surprise, having not appeared throughout the rest of the EP.  It’s a technique which could be incorporated more frequently, especially in the background of other songs.  Even with one vocalist, though it can’t be used live, backing screaming could add an extra layer to the recordings.

The songs have a similar tempo and feel so the EP flows nicely throughout, however it may possibly lack contrast as a result.

The guitars sound really good, crisp and crunchy.  The bass sounds fantastic too, however  the star of the show is the drum kit.  The drums are punchy, but the percussive attack sound of all the drums is really boosted.  Think hardcore kick drum sound but on the toms too.  It’s an effect I especially liked and really suits the band’s sound.

However, I can’t avoid the elephant in the room, producer hat firmly on my head.  I don’t think the production on the vocals does them any favours.  Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t terrible and it’s nothing that can’t be improved in production.  I know overproduction is a worry, however the vocals on this EP feel underproduced.  They are pushed right to the front of the mix which highlights any flaws and weaknesses.  Sitting them in the mix more would mask them.  A thickening of the vocal using saturation and an EQ boost in the low mids would add warmth, while more reverb would round the sound nicely.  Perhaps some things to consider on future recordings.

Seasons Hollow are a band with potential and I suspect if I saw them live I’d really enjoy their set.  Their sound isn’t revolutionary, this being their first EP.  I’m sure there’s much more to come, like a teenager who hasn’t quite grown into their looks yet, but given time, if they finish puberty well, may just turn into the surprise stunner of the class.

Rating: 5/10

Band Links: Facebook

Review By: Greg Samuel