Helium Horse Fly – Hollowed (Album Review)

Helium Horse Fly – Hollowed
Released — 18th January 2019

Lineup —

Marie Billy // Vocals
Stéphanie Dupont // Guitar, Keyboards & Vocals
Dimitri Iannello // Bass
Gil Chevigné // Drums

Online —

Facebook
Bandcamp

Bands that push the boundaries of music and genres are everywhere, it only requires a small investigation to find a gem of an album lurking around a corner, waiting to be discovered. Helium Horse Fly are such a band; a mixture of progressive rock guitars and keys, with a jazz infused sensibility to their music; they push the boundaries of what rock music is, and what it will be in the future.

Vocally sounding a lot like fellow Belgians, Oathbreaker, the voices waver over the music, pregnant with emotion, bleeding anticipation for the next unsuspecting writhing turn in the music. The guitar recalls strongly of Opeth, the very tone seems to be reminiscent of Damnation. A cascading of notes like a crystalline waterfall descend upon the ears before grinding into a murky pool of noise and atonality. The drums are similarly ripped from an entirely unrelated world of music; jazzy and quirky, they can dominate with their ferocious noise or complement with a light artistic touch, a la Rolo Tomassi. If the band’s style seems disparate, you’re not wrong, but that doesn’t mean it hinders their sound.

Album opener ‘Happiness’ is an eclectic mix of all the above with a heaping of alto sax thrown in for good measure; but it isn’t chaotic. It pulses and flows from one pole to the other, a drone that reaches an ejaculatory conclusion. It feels to be the very essence of transformation. The following songs further highlight the breadth of sounds that the band holds mastery over. ‘Algeny’ is a quiet, piece controlled by an intoxicating wavering croon, slithering over the subdued drums of Gil Chevigné like a snake through a dry forest awaiting a natural disaster. And does that disaster come. The conclusion of the song wrings the most satisfying of violent conclusions out of the building tension that had been curated for the last seven minutes.

If anything negative can be said about the album, it’s that the songs tend to be too self indulgent. As is the bent of most post-rock outfits, time can seem to be inconsequential when you’re really into the music, but when you’re testing the waters, it can be a turn off. Regardless, if you’re feeling the album, the long song times are actually a blessing. And honestly, I wish ‘Progeny’ were longer. The way the keys and strings frolic over the pulse of the drumming is divine.

Overall, Hollowed is quite an experience. A both relaxing and nerve-fraying pilgrimage that would best be dealt with in solitude. The journey the album takes one on is cathartic and calming. A testament to the vast array of techniques that have been artfully welded together into a chimaera of sheer beauty.

HHF - Hollowed

Helium Horse Fly – Hollowed tracklisting

1. Happiness
2. In A Deathless Spell
3. Algeny
4. Progeny
5. Monochrome
6. Shelter

Rating: 4/5
Hollowed is Out Now via Bandcamp
Review — Dylonov Tomasivich

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