New Empire Vol.2
Back in February, Hollywood Undead released the first of a two-part opus, titled ‘New Empire’. It was their heaviest endeavour for some time, bringing with it, great guitar lines and eardrum-punishing choruses. Bookending the year, the band are back with the second instalment, ‘New Empire, Part 2’. With this new release, it becomes clearer than ever that, while there is still a great deal of revelry to be had with this record, it’s higher purpose has become one of promoting unity and the promise of better days to come again.
Not only is the music industry on the verge of total collapse for many artists, it’s also a completely different market, making it almost impossible for any band to last more than a couple of years. “It’s tough these days, though, to get funding for that kind of stuff, because there’s no MTV. None of those things exist anymore,” says Johnny 3 Tears speaking to antiheromagazine.com about the struggles of artists securing funding for music videos and studio time. “This is our sound. One of the reasons I like it is because we can kind of do whatever we want, and get away. I would definitely say it’s held us back.”
With MTV a distant memory for showcasing alternative music, social media has taken over as the new promotional platform, however, it comes with a major headache for many artists. “I love your band but I don’t like this song” is a quote that Hollywood Undead read on a regular basis thanks to the two way street that is social media, giving every Joe Public an opportunity to share their often unwelcome opinion. “That blows my mind,” explains Charlie Scene, speaking to Sweetwater. “My favourite artists...I would never go up to them and say ‘I love your album but I don’t like that song’. People’s opinions are now just so...I don’t want to hear that I don’t care what your opinion is.”
As far as individuality goes, you can’t get much more creative than Ice Nine Kills. Their gory horror iconography on their 2018 album ‘The Silver Scream’ and unforgettable rights battle with Disney has cemented the band as one of the most intrepid and enterprising metalcore acts out there. Marry that with Hollywood Undead’s uncompromising nature, as well as their venture back into the world of heavy breakdowns on this new record, and you have a trio who exude everything that is wonderful about modern metal. A year that has felt determined to keep us apart has produced art that brings together some of the very best voices in the metalcore sphere – how’s that for some derisive irony?
That being said, ‘New Empire: Part 2’ doesn’t wallow in the misery that this year has been doling out. Captured perfectly in tracks like ‘Gonna Be OK’ is a sense of hope – that a return to the anarchic live shows of old – and indeed, just to some sense of normality - is now glimmering on the horizon. In tying these two albums together, both in name and in spirit, Hollywood Undead are here to remind us that happiness will come again. Collaboration will come again. Togetherness will come again.
If you’ve been looking for a record to instill the belief that music will make its return, then you’ve found it right here.
"New Empire: Volume 2" Out December 4th via BMG/Dove & Grenade Media ORDER HERE
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