Album Review: Hollywood Undead’s ‘New Empire, Vol. 1’

By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night

Album: Hollywood Undead’s New Empire, Vol. 1- BMG Rights Management (US) LLC- release date February 14, 2020

Hollywood Undead have been tirelessly touring since recording their last album FIVE in 2017 but managed to get into the studio between traveling to record their sixth studio album New Empire, Vol. 1 (release date February 14, 2020). Recorded in December 2018 and August 2019, the band gathered enough material to be split between two volumes, with Vol. 2 being released shortly thereafter. New Empire, Vol. 1 has nine ball-shaking tracks with dark themes and social commentaries that rip to the heart of a hopeless society and political atmosphere. Guest appearances on the album include Kellin Quinn (Sleeping With Sirens) and Good Charlotte’s Benji Madden, who add their touch to create a solid album that melds hip hop, electronica, and pop punk into a bold amalgam.   

Possibly my favorite song is “Already Dead”, which begins with a creepy riff and melds into an epic, hard rockin’ chorus and hooky melody.  Very bold and hard-hitting!

“Nightmare” like “Already Dead”, begins with a slow, bell-like tinkling riff, which is very creepy, before breaking into full-on rap.  The song is a social commentary, saying  “weight of the world falls down on me…it’s part of nightmare”.  Very real.

Continuing with social commentary, “Time Bomb” is heavy on the hip hop and electronic embellishments, as a pop punk chorus laments on the world today saying, All these mother fuckers are tryinig to keep me in line….this pressure I can’t take any more….   Something’s gotta change…I wanna live before I die.

“Upside Down”and “Second Chances” feel very heavy but with pop punk choruses, whereas, “Killin’ It” is downhome traditional rap.  “Enemy” begins with rapid riff, sounding like a machine gun, but later segues into pop punk glory.

Overall, New Empire, Vol. 1 will satisfy old fans of Hollywood Undead—but may possibly gain new ones with its deeper lyrical theme and pop punk laden choruses.

Hollywood Undead. Photo by Darren Craig.


Chyrisse Tabone, Ph.D.
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