One year after their debut "Modern Cathedral", HOLLOW return with "Architect Of The Mind". So what has changed? Cover-wise nothing, again a very nice painting of Kristian Wåhlin is gracing the front, musically there are some news to be told.
Anno 1999 they sound a good bit crunchier and also a little, hm, more progressive. You have some faster parts, the structures are more complex, the guitars more intricate and also a little heavier. But the reduced amount of straight passages lead to the compositions being less accessible, the overall flow getting interrupted here and there.
But still a song like "Rain" excels in its great dynamics, starting out very calm, then covering the whole spectrum from slow-paced parts up to double-bass-driven passages, while "Shadow God" is a good bit faster and more aggressive than the material of the debut-album. But still the majority of the tracks are bulkier, don't get into you ears so easily, don't have those catchy melodies anymore.
"Architect Of The Mind" for sure is not a weak album, but still it doesn't reach the debut anymore.