Live Review: Our Hollow, Our Home - The Flapper, Birmingham
25th October 2022
Words: Matt Noble
Photos: Damian John
First up are local heroes Colosseums, whose groovy, nu metal-tinged djent warms up the crowd with a fun set. Rather than sounding like a throwback, their nu metal shades lean more towards modern trap and grime rather than 90s hip-hop, sounding cutting-edge in 2022 - though ‘IH8COLO’ definitely has a nod or two towards Linkin Park. Their electronic samples and use of a backing track are really effective for the style, while ‘Hate Myself’ employs some cool chords and rhythmic changes. Their confident lead vocalist goes between rapping, growling and singing, sometimes with an impressive high range that you wouldn’t have necessarily expected at the start of the set. The tunes are a lot of fun, and the first pit of the night breaks out, but Colosseums will rightly feel they were unlucky with the size of the crowd tonight, based on the strength and entertainment of tonight’s performance.
Up next are tour openers Glass Heart, whose intro tape self-awarely references the Blondie song with the same name as them before they launch into a raging set of bouncy, anthemic metalcore. The vocal melodies feel really uplifting, with a fantastic lead vocal performance that hits high falsetto notes seemingly effortlessly to expand their melodic potential and impact into the next level. Comfortable in the mix with a backing track that uses ambience tastefully, the sound is polished and self-assured tonight. The audience interaction is good, with their frontman going in to hug members of the crowd before a pit opens during ‘Anything’. And with heartfelt, relatable lyrics, it feels like a lot connect with Glass Heart today, the room slowly but surely filling up. There are a few moments where all three at the front are doing vocals at the same time, creating some of the set’s most powerful moments. With bags of energy and catchy songs, they could really be stars in the making.
Aviana follow, and are one of the real surprises of the night. Their three instrumentalists come on covered head to toe in black, their faces covered by masks. There’s a sense of mystery, partly with the way the band are lit by a simple red light, standing in a simple but effective two-tone glow. This atmosphere is only partially broken when their vocalist comes on, with his face visible, and they launch into a blistering groove that’s much more death metal-based, heavier and more brutal than the acts before them. With a bit of industrial, a bit of deathcore, a bit of djent and a bit of nu-metal, it’s hard to pin them down to one style, but similarly to Colosseums their sound is very much cutting edge and unashamedly modern. With two extended-range guitarists flanking their lead vocalist, whose style is mostly based upon screaming, it comes as a bit of a surprise when he begins to employ some cleanly sung moments so well, considering how visceral the first few songs are. The melodic moments are really strong, while the gut-punching breakdowns really see the pits go up a notch in intensity. The bouncy ‘Transcendance’ near the end is fantastic, and closing song ‘Obsession’ is anthemic with a wonderful clean vocal performance. Quite arguably the best band of the evening.
Tonight’s main attraction is Our Hollow, Our Home, who haven’t done much in the way of headline shows in the UK recently - not that you’d have guessed. They bring a healthy crowd with them to The Flapper, who go crazy for their fun, swaggering riffs, their soaring, tasteful leads, and their heavy-hitting choruses and anthems. The crowd get involved and sing along, regardless of whether the song was released five years ago, last year, or as recently as the previous month. They know how to keep it fun, too, with guitarist/clean vocalist Tobias introducing ‘Battle X City’ as a song ‘about Yu-Gi-Oh cards’. With its Avenged Sevenfold-style twin guitar leads and a chorus with a pop sensibility to it that gets the crowd singing back every word, it’s definitely one of the set highlights. More than the other bands tonight, there are huge singalong moments - helped, of course, by their bigger band profile - and this is why they are running tonight’s bill. Sure, there’s plenty of moshes, but more in the crowd can be engaged by their big choruses. The vocal performance all around is great, with a dynamic and varied overall performance employing high screams and deep gutturals from Connor around Tobias’ melodies. Our Hollow, Our Home really know how to get an audience going - it’s the cherry on the cake for a great night of metal.