The Vaulted Skies wrapped their signatory angular guitars around eastern rhythms in their achingly resonant exposition of grief, Hollowhead; penned and arranged to pay tribute to the singer-songwriter and guitarist, James Scott’s father, who left a legacy tainted by racial discrimination behind him in 2000.
Between the lines, tones, and artful aural abstractions of complicated desolation, Hollowhead transcribes personal loss while painting the universally relatable possessive nature of grief as it wraps around the physiological senses to leave us cold, dark, and hollow. I couldn’t help but see the contrast in the hallmark platitudes that cascade around the grief-stricken and the primally poetic outpour of emotion.
In the evocative context of the release, which uses dark post-grunge-y cascades accentuated with stinging orchestral layers to mirror the grappling sensations of grief that contest you into subjugation, the solid rock riff that sears towards the outro may be one of the most visceral I’ve ever heard. And if that sounds superfluous, you evidently haven’t heard the existential death roll off a riff in question yet. Get to it. From start to 6-minute finish, it’s sheer perfection.
Stream & purchase the official studio recording of Hollowhead on Bandcamp.
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Review by Amelia Vandergast