Hollywood Undead – New Empire Vol.2

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: BMG
Released: 2020
Buy Album: https://store.hollywoodundead.com/
Band Website: https://www.hollywoodundead.com/

Band Line-up:

Jorel ‘J-Dog’ Decker – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Programming
Dylan ‘Funny Man’ Alvarez – Vocals
George ‘Jonny 3 Tears’ Ragan – Vocals, Bass
Jordon ‘Charlie Scene’ Terrell – Vocals, Guitars
Daniel ‘Danny’ Murillo Vocals, Keyboards, Programming, Guitars, Bass
Matt Oloffson – Drums, Percussion

Tracklisting:

1. Medicate
2. Comin’ Thru The Stereo (feat Hyro The Hero)
3. Ghost Out
4. Gonna Be OK
5.  Monsters (feat Killstation)
6. Idol (feat Tech N9ne)
7. Coming Home
8. Unholy
9. Worth It
10. Heart Of A Champion (feat Papa Roach & Ice Nine Kills)

Review:

Hot on the heels of Februarys release Undead New Empire Vol 1., Hollywood Undead brings us Volume 2. Carrying on much in the same vane as Volume 1. we are presented with a heavy dose of the rap aspect of their brand of rap Metal with threads of metal woven in to mesh it all together. 2020 is definitely a year for collaborations with artists’ schedules being shifted around there has been more scope to create together and this album is no exception, featuring appearances from Killstation, Tech N9ne, Papa Roach and Ice Nine Kills.

The dynamic of the band has always been energetic and with the addition of yet more layers it is really elevated further and makes for a rich an exciting listening experience. Filled with fist-in-the-air enducing riffs and anthemic choruses mixed with beats that demand your body moves, this album packs a real punch.

Tripping into the headphones opening track ‘Medicate’  starts us off well with the familiar Hollywood Undead sound and builds to a head-bopping level quickly, the metal edge is still present here which, given the ending of Volume 1 stood firmly in the rap category of their brand, is good to hear. It may have been expected to run more with the rap as a continuum but the balance is maintained here. It’s cleverly cohesive with Volume 1. as it all weaves together really well and makes for quite the body of work.

I’m immediately transported straight to a room full of people jumping and throwing their hands in the air in unison as ‘Comin’ Thru The Stereo’ kicks in, its a real adrenaline fuelled track full of punch, this album already has me moving, its impossible not to at the very least nod your head along.

There are all the trappings here of classic Hollywood Undead, and although it may not be earth shatteringly different, or new, the familiar here is more than good enough. It’s actually refreshing when bands dont try to force evolution but rather build on a formula that works. There is definitely a fire in the belly of this installment, there’s a cry amongst all artists and creatives these days for an order to return and this joins that call to arms. Lyrically ‘Gonna Be Ok’ backs this up ”when the world’s out of focus and looking kind of hopeless … I’m going to be OK”.

There are slightly more pronounced shifts musically where the collaborations come into play, in ‘Idol’ they join forces with Tech N9ne, there is more of an industrial feel running through it its full and rich and you feel it through your whole body – in all the best ways it personifies how much I miss live shows, these guys definitely know how to work a room into a frenzy!

I’m impressed with the way they seamlessly cross and mix styles from track to track, individually they may seem fundamentally different but collectively they meld together and take you on a real rollercoaster of a ride, foot-tapping, and head-banging all the way!

The band had planned to tour this year with Papa Roach and Ice Nine Kills and in honour of this have reworked ‘Heart of  a Champion’ presumably to perform together at these shows , there’s definitely a much revived and more layered offering here , somehow when they collaborate it feels like an extension of their already big family , and it always works really well. There are several songs here that I know will have crowds roaring, fists pumping, and it definitely will be one not to miss! Put this on your playlist and enjoy!

Review by Rebecca Bush

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