Brought together by their love for extremely slow dirge-y funeral doom metal and from a writing standpoint rooted in the Crestfallen tradition, Hallow (not to be mistaken with the raw black metal act) were formed in summer 2011 in Eugene, Oregon. Featuring Ben Adams on drums, Stephen Velasco (ex-Sanctum from Seattle) on guitar/vocals, Eric Eiden (also in Ninth Moon Black) on guitar, and recently added Abram Hurd (also in Rye Wolves) on bass and vocals. Together they bring a thunderous release that strengthens even more the many doom releases for this year. And what a year it has been for doom so far.
Their old English song titles are in one sense a nod towards the early 90′s British death/doom bands on Peaceville. The influences of old material coming from bands like old My Dying Bride, Anathema, Esoteric, Skepticism, Thergothon is very clear on Hallow’s sound but besides all of these great and tributary names, Hallow also draw elements of influence from contemporaries acts such as Ocean, Asunder, Aldearan and Loss for example.
Introducing, with this self titled Demo, two extensive tracks: “Dustsceawung” which means “contemplation of dust” in old english. A monolithic song that moves at only one speed: slow. Sorrowful and slow guitars are dragged in the dust between a mournful, dying pace set by the rhythm of the drum that yields this beautiful yet crushing dense atmosphere. It’s amazing how the guitars wail these sorrowful notes. Suddenly it’s interrupted by a beautiful instrumental section that lets a thin ray of light pierces amidst this darkness, but not for long. “Tala Tungena“, means “utterances of tongues” in old english, the second track, follows the same trail left by the previous track as they’re inextricably linked to each other. The vocals are very deep as they are almost muffled by the crushing sound of the guitars, as if they’re coming from the bottom of a very deep, deep grave in the middle of a dark, foggy night. There isn’t much evolution on this track, as something entirely predictable and understandable when it comes to funeral doom genre. Yet the mission here is accomplished, Hallow’s music penetrates deeply into us, ending any glimmer piece of joy and life and inundate us leading us into a dismal state for about 40 minutes.
I must confess that i’m a sucker for this type of bands and i instantly became fan of Hallow. One of the best Demos i had the pleasure to hear this year. Without doubt a new name to feature amongst the front line of the U.S. doom scene. Hallow’s Demo is available and you can get it by contacting the band through their email: firstname.lastname@example.org. It comes with a mini poster, making this superb demo a must-have piece to add to your doom collection. Just email the band if you’re really interested. Recommended for fans of the heavier faction of doom that include acts like Ocean, Asunder, Aldebaran and Loss. Highly Recommended.