LIVE: Our Hollow Our Home / TheCityIsOurs / The Uncharted @ Satan’s Hollow, Manchester

By Gem Rogers

Manchester’s Satan’s Hollow is probably best known in its more usual guise as a night club, being one of the last and longest standing late night venues to cater to the alternative crowd. It’s hard to imagine a venue that looks more the part for a metal show, though, as Satan himself towers over the DJ booth in the corner (the name’s not just for show) and the entire room is decorated to match – the screaming faces embedded in columns are a particularly haunting delight. The stage takes over the dancefloor in the centre to make an impromptu ‘in the round’ show, which has its benefits as well as the obvious pitfalls of limited space, but fortunately  the atmosphere more than makes up for these quirks as we settle in for a night of rowdy metalcore.

Tonight’s opening band The Uncharted are, unfortunately, done a little dirty by some less than optimal sound – although improving a little towards the end of the set, it’s pretty muddy throughout and difficult to discern much that’s going on. It’s a shame, especially as there are occasional glimpses of some lovely riffs, and vocalist Pete Lee carries plenty of energy throughout the set, though there’s also a few moments where everything gets a little disjointed and confusing. The band are at their best at full throttle when Lee takes charge, with the clean vocal melodies lacking much in variety – despite this, The Uncharted clearly have a lot more to give than this set allows, so there’ll hopefully be more opportunities for them to return to Manchester and shine.

Proceedings are immediately ramped up a notch or ten when London’s TheCityIsOurs take to the stage for a set that’s full of energy and passion. With only a couple of EPs under their belt so far, the band are building a solid following already, and though Satan’s doesn’t offer much in the way of space for a pit that doesn’t seem to stop anyone going for it – safe to say it’s no longer wise to clutch a full pint anywhere near the front and centre. The quintet deliver half an hour of fantastically executed melodic metalcore, with exactly the right amount of technicality, brutality, and singalong choruses – most recent single ‘Casket’ is a real highlight and a perfect demonstration of what’s to come from this band. TheCityIsOurs are already delivering headline quality sets, and are without doubt a band to watch closely this year.

Whether metalcore is your bag or not, it seems unlikely you’ll get to the end of 2019 without having heard of Our Hollow Our Home – and with good reason. The Southampton five-piece are still fresh from releasing sophomore album ‘In Moment // In Memory’ last year, and are now preparing for a busy year of festivals and shows across Europe. Using the album’s instrumental opener ‘//Denial’ to begin their set, it’s unfortunately a little quiet for the noisy room and the impact is a little lost – but there’s no ignoring the explosive beginnings of ensuing track ‘In Moment’. This is a band who mean business, and the crowd are absolutely ready for every second.

The set darts back and forth between these recent tracks and those from debut ‘Hartsick’, all being met with equal amounts of enthusiasm; Our Hollow Our Home have mastered the balance of intensely melodic sections with devastating breakdowns, alongside guttural, roaring uncleans from Connor Hallisey, and it’s utterly satisfying to behold. There’s no doubt that, with Hallisey and Toby Young, this band carry some of the best vocals in the genre right now, and they don’t falter live – nor do their bandmates, who form a tight unit on this tiny stage.

New album tracks ‘//Anger’ and ‘Wraiths’ fall in as mid-set highlights, slamming into the room as a brutal wall of heaviness, whilst still brimming with melody and sounding far bigger than the four walls of this club. One of the benefits of the ‘in the round’ stage set up is, of course, the irresistible and magical opportunity for a room-filling circle pit, and it’s not one the band pass up on when it comes time to play the blistering ‘Worms Wood’. The whirlwind of humans doesn’t quite last the whole song (in fairness, it’s an exhaustingly long way to run), but there’s no dulling of the energy that came with it through the remainder of the set, finally finishing in raging style with ‘Hartsick’ single ‘Feast For The Crows’.

This was in no way a short set, yet it still feels like everyone in the room could happily have stayed far longer into the night to keep the party going. In Our Hollow Our Home, British metalcore has found shining hope for the future, filling in the space that bands like Architects and Bury Tomorrow leave behind as they ascend to ever greater heights – and with live shows like this, there’s nothing stopping OHOH from following in their footsteps.