The words “hollow” and “front,” independently, can both imply a lack of substance, sincerity and passion. “Hollow” is somewhat self-explanatory, while “front” can be often likened to a façade or non genuine, staged version of one’s self. The point is that neither of the two, on their own, imply stellar things. Putting the two together is an even riskier move—however, when it comes to Michigan metalcore prodigies Hollow Front, it would appear that they’ve taken what might have otherwise been two negatives and made one Hell of a positive. Erupting from Grand Rapids, Michigan out of seemingly nowhere, Hollow Front have made a monstrous name for themselves within the contemporary metalcore community—in just over four years, no less—impressing critics and casual listeners alike with their blend of catchy, creative melodies and murky, murderously heavy metallic prowess. The result? An act that is neither hollow nor—for lack of a better term—frontin’ when it comes to creating genuine, grisly and intense metalcore.
Hollow Front’s origin is a humble one, as a metalcore act emerging from a humble midwestern city. Formed in mid-2016, the band broke water with their debut single “Speaking in Tongues”—a song that would go on to garner them attention enough to become prominent in Michigan’s tightly-knit and densely-packed metal community. It wouldn’t be too much longer until the band would release their critically acclaimed debut EP, Homewrecker. Packing catchy choruses in among aggressive breakdowns and scathing leads, Homewrecker saw Hollow Front filling a much-needed void forming as Michigan’s metal scene grew more and more divided between the extremes of heaviness and atmosphere. Homewrecker kicked off 2017 for Hollow Front much in the same way that it kicked off their entire career. Before much longer, the act would be playing with the likes of Veil of Maya and Cane Hill. As the band’s local and regional following grew, so did their worldwide fanbase—as well as their work ethic. Hollow Front would increasingly appear as regional support for large-scale metalcore acts while working on their sophomore EP, Still Life, which saw the light of day in late June, 2018. Still Life saw Hollow Front continuing along the path forged by Homewrecker, honing their dynamic to create songs that cut deep by virtue of voracious aggression yet still packed an emotional and introspective punch. Not only would Still Life’s success earn the band a boatload of Spotify plays and slots on regional shows and tours throughout the Midwest (and add to their physical fan base in the process), it would gain the attention of Fit For a King’s Ryan Kirby. Under Kirby’s direction, 2019 served as a year of growth for the band; releasing a deluxe re-issue of Homewrecker and putting in long hours on their debut full length release, Loose Threads, released in mid 2020. While COVID-19 put the brakes on touring in support of the band’s debut full length release, it certainly didn’t stop Loose Threads from getting the attention it deserved. Widely well-received by the press, Loose Threads would tack on approximately three million plays on Spotify in the few months following its release, adding to a sum total of over ten million plays for the band’s entire catalogue.
In four years’ time, Hollow Front went from an innocuous Grand Rapids metalcore act to a name recognized by enthusiasts of the genre the whole world over. Amassing a dedicated following and listeners from Michigan to Moldova, Hollow Front are among the latest additions to the UNFD Records family, joining prominent acts such as Architects, Northlane and Stray from the Path. With many things in the future hazy and unclear, one thing seems for certain: Hollow Front have only just begun to make their mark on heavy music.