` Jesusfreakhideout.com: Nations, "Hollow - EP" Review
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Nations, 'Hollow - EP'

Hollow - EP

Street Date: January 19, 2024
Style: Hardcore
Buy It: AmazonMP3

There is an argument to be made that Spirit filled hardcore has seen its time and place pass from the scene, yet then we are introduced to new and exciting bands like Brazil's own Nations. Combing elements of both post hardcore and progressive metalcore, they create a sound that is at once familiar (think Atonement era Your Memorial or the progressive metalcore of Cliffside) and add just enough nuance to make it their own. With the release of Hollow, Nations seems destined to reestablish a strong Spirit-filled beach head on the stormy waters that make up the hardcore/metalcore scene.

The first thing that jumped out to me upon my initial listen was the focus on truth throughout the EP, as well as dealing with themes of being honest with yourself as well as with God. On the opener, "Warship," the band asks the question "we all walk the same path/ will it matter if we are met with righteousness?" It's a heavy question that leads us to consider the implications of how we live our lives and to consider the weight of our actions across eternity. Another highlight is "Madness," which features Silent Planet's Garrett Russell, which wrestles with the challenges of mental health juxtaposed with that of a loving creator, with Russell screaming "We are defined by Your presence not alone by your guise/ so make me remember how it was again." It's these sections that showcase the band's maturity and the promise of what their future holds going forward.

Lyrics aren't the only defining part of what makes a release solid or mediocre, especially in the indie scene; production and musicianship plays a big role as well. Nations is one of the stronger newer bands in the indie scene, and the production value reminds me a lot of Cliffside's Deeper Wells which was one of the better indie releases from last year. They feature a very solid combination of down-tuned chugging guitars that are as equally comfortable relishing in the technicality of a progressive riff as they are smashing your face in with a hardcore breakdown, accompanied by the steady drumming that keeps the band's wall of sound tight as a unit.

2024 is off to a great start musically as there have been many releases that I have already enjoyed in the past month, while also having many on the horizon that I am excited to dig into. So when I say an album, an EP even, is currently in my top five for my eventual year-end top ten albums list, I hope the reader will take it as high praise for an obscure band and would then give said band a chance.

- Review date: 1/29/24, written by Matt Baldwin of Jesusfreakhideout.com

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. Record Label: None
. Album length: 5 tracks: 19 minutes, 11 seconds
. Street Date: January 19, 2024
. Buy It: AmazonMP3

  1. Warship (3:43)
  2. Arca (3:15)
  3. Madness (4:15)
  4. Identity (3:16)
  5. Reconnecting (4:41)



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