Just three short years after releasing V, Hollywood Undead are back with New Empire Vol. 1 which shows the band expanding their sound and style but yet staying true to their roots at the same time.
In a few ways, this is a new sound for Hollywood Undead but not in a dramatic way. The hip hop tracks are more strongly hip hop and the rock songs are heavier than ever. Opener “Time Bomb” starts off a little different than longtime Hollywood Undead faithful might be used to but it quickly rips into the Undead rock style we’ve all come to love and kicks things off with authority. Plus, it’s catchy as hell and, even though there’s some autotune near the end, they don’t go overboard and fans who feel like bitching about it can shut the fuck up right now.
“Heart of a Champion” is pure adrenaline and Hollywood Undead at their best while “Already Dead” slows it down just enough and it’s one of the trippiest and most hypnotic tracks they’ve ever written; Plus it’s lyrically very, very strong.
When it comes to the hip hop style that’s always been a staple of Hollywood Undead, they embrace those roots more than they ever have and “Empire,” “Killin It” and “Nightmare” are purely perfect in this area while “Enemy” is by far one of the heaviest songs the band has ever written. Throw in “Upside Down” and “Second Chances” to the assault and it’s clear Hollywood Undead have made a conscious effort to cater to both sides of their fanbase- the rock crowd and metalheads as well as the rap and hip hop fans.
Hollywood Undead never write the same album twice and they most surely never release the same offering back to back, making sure every single album has its own identity and New Empire Vol. 1 definitely has that. They’ve put more work into the lyrics, messages and meaning behind each song and there’s a lot for the fans to digest and fall in love with on this record.