Artist: Hologram Earth
Label: Self Published
Release Date: 5th November 2012
1. Facing Creation
2. The Labyrinth
3. Graveyard Planet
Hologram Earth is a 5 piece progressive metal band from Amsterdam founded in September 2011. This EP is the bands first release and I can honestly say that it is a solid record.
The first track called ‘Facing Creation‘ is really heavy and had me instantly moving my head. After a short phasing drum roll you are greeted with a beastly death growl and this is the best way to describe the vocals on this EP as a whole. Nice warm textures created by the guitars and bass and very balanced sounding in the mix. At around 2 minutes the time signature dramatically changes which keeps you wondering what comes next. At 2 mins 30 you will hear a really deep and heavy bass line after a short break. At 3 minutes the song breaks into a melodic and atmospheric guitar solo, superbly played and beautifully defined guitar tone. Throughout this track the heavy guitar chugging will keep your head nodding.
Straight into the second track called ‘The Labyrinth‘ which opens with a distorted chord progression backed by Luuk van der Velden‘s signature Tom rolls. Following the intro is a satisfying sludgy guitar riff which frequently breaks down into a quirky sounding bass part. At 2 minutes you’ll hear a screaming guitar solo which adds a beautiful atmosphere. What comes next is a really pleasant surprise – brass instruments layered with guitars adding some more mysterious atmosphere to the song. I really enjoyed this song and would say it is the most progressive sounding on the EP.
The third track called ‘Graveyard Planet‘ opens with heavy syncopated riffs following a really strange time signature. Again you get that really heavy sludgy style of guitar playing with the occasional accented pinch harmonics. At just over the 2 minute mark the track breaks down into a really peaceful section with beautiful soft bass line; this is quickly interrupted with more brutality in the form of Michiel Meurs vocals. At around 4 minutes you will hear a cool old school guitar riff that seems to evolve into a completely different track. Overall a very cleverly written song.
The fourth song called ‘Dichotomised‘ opens with Asian sounding Tabla drumming which gradually gets replaced with a full drum kit playing a similar Asian pattern; this is done to great effect and it proves the skill and versatility of the drummer. The guitar riffs are relentless on this track and dispersed with ambient dissonant chords. The middle part of the song is really different; at 3 minutes it breaks down to a crackling loop followed by a mysterious resolving chord, I really wasn’t expecting this but it shows the song writer is full of ideas. The guitar solo comes in at 5 minutes and is full of screaming harmonic dive bombs, really expressive playing which I loved. Then the track suddenly ends on a mysterious note leaving a warm fuzzy feeling inside me.
Overall this EP is awesome. Very accomplished playing and the production is crystal clear. The song writing is intelligent yet full of catchy and memorable moments. I will most certainly come back to this EP for more listening enjoyment and look forward to hearing new releases from this great band.
Michiel Meurs (vocals)
Thomas Cochrane (guitar)
Steven Hulshof (guitar)
Asher de Vries (bass)
Luuk van der Velden (Drums)