GOLLUM
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GOLLUM

Wilmington, North Carolina, United States | INDIE

Wilmington, North Carolina, United States | INDIE
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"IMHOTEP (Norwegian Webzine)"

IMHOTEP (Norwegian Webzine)

http://www.imhotep.no/?did=9090818&aid=9069486


You know that feeling you got when you first discovered Opeth, Mastodon or Tool? That overwhelming freshness of the NEW in not just metal, but MUSIC as a whole? Do you know why these bands cause such a stir, such a devotion, such admiration, such cult following? I think it's because they absolutely do not care whether they are metal or not, as long as they create what they want to instead of what is expected of them.
An example to the contrary, would be Dark Tranquillity and Killswitch Engage (oh, he mentioned KILLSWITCH ENGAGE on a metal site, to the stake with this traitor!). Both bands are, in my opinion admirably if predictably, driven by their fans' expectations. Both bands, once unique and fresh, are becoming a little stale... Don't get me wrong, DT is and will remain one of my favorite bands, but I sometimes wish, listening to "Fiction", that they ventured out a bit again, like on "Heaven" or its predecessor "Projector". Even "Character" was a very experimental album. I like experiments, even if, or rather especially, if they venture outside of the comfort zone.

What makes Opeth, Mastodon and Tool so unique, then, is their ability to seamlessly fuse different sounds, genres and even musical styles in general into compositions, which should not even be called songs, per se. But it works, and the same can be said about Between the Buried and Me. You absolutely cannot possibly predict what you will get on the next album, but you know, whatever it is, you will be floored.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the future giants of progressive/eclectic rock/metal, if you will, a band worthy of taking place along the Opeths, Mastodons and Tools of the world - Gollum. Supposedly NOT named after the Lord of the Rings' Smeagley, but, instead, rendered from Yiddish word "goylem" for "a shapeless mass", the name accurately describes Gollem's music. If you like metal or rock, chances are you will hear the parts you like the most on The Core. And all of it is doused with copious sauce of Pink Floyd, pre -and including, Dark Side of the Moon era psychedelia.

But what makes Gollem geniuses they are, is that they don't SOUND like Slayer, Megadeth, Mastodon, Opeth, Tool or Pink Floyd, but merely make you THINK of those and many other bands. In 1994, Machine Head, with its debut "Burn My Eyes" was able to accomplish this same effect. Some stuff reminded you of Metallica, Pantera or Slayer, but when you played it against the respective bands' records you were shocked to find no plagiarism or even derivation has taken place. For, too, Stroehmer brothers (Gollum guitarists) have a sound of their own.

EVERY song on "The Core" is ENTIRELY different, drawing from various influences. It can be described, at first, at its base as a very filthy thrash/punk with abrasive vocals. But then another unique quality hits you: it's not only what kind of riffs they play but how those riffs sound. A riff would be played at a certain level of "dirty" and suddenly the guitars cut you with razor - sharp precision (the title track). Remember Corrosion of Conformity's 13 Track on "Wiseblood" with that very deep, almost detuned sound, as if they did not care? Well, that's kinda what I'm talking about here.

Furthermore, the band plays with such ease, skill and ingenuity, free from trends or requirements, that you swear this must be a seasoned, 10 albumer, but "The Core" is merely a sequel to their debut! Only two albums folks, and the music you hear is already throwing me on my knees, because these guys have the 'tude that's genuinely lacking from metal these days, the kind you heard on your "Vulgar Display of Power", "Killing Is My Business" or "Show No Mercy” records", a feeling of unadulterated artistic freedom of expression with no expectations or strings attached, that's right, the big "Fuck you, we don't give a fuck motherfucker, and we know we're fucking good, anyway" syndrome.

But with such jaw-dropping musicianship, how can you disagree? I have been listening to the new Gollum for two weeks now and I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of what it has to offer! I guess, if I could offer a single point of reference for you, I would still have to mention two albums simultaneously: "Blood Mountain" and "Crack the Skye" by you know who. Listening to these you have a feeling like these guys have a vision, fans be damned. No, I'm not talking about the lack of respect for the fans, but about not hanging onto their every word. Rightly said Alistair Crawley: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law". So true, in life and in music. As for the sound, again, think "Prove You Wrong", didn't Prong do whatever the hell they wanted on that one? And yet the music was still cool, nevertheless.

But I still owe you, perhaps a short description of your possible encounter with this masterpiece: It starts slowly with an eerie intro and then, yes, definitely "Countdown to Extinction" in attitude and execution, ergo, without the melodisism. Before you wrap your mind around it, they hit you with Opeth, Prong, Mastodon and even Slayer before moving on. And so on and so forth.

There is a guest appearance by Randall D. Blythe from the (once, since Wrath is such crap) mighty Lamb of God, but that is, rather one of the least exciting tracks. It sounds too much like Blythe's day job. Be that as it may, it's a minor gripe of mine, in no way taking away from the pleasure of listening to this gem of an album.

The CD is best digested as a whole, with headphones on, as you pay attention to every sound. It's only a shame, that the main man behind this project, Hunter Holland, passed away of heart failure shortly before the release. It makes me worry a bit about Gollum's future endeavors, but we'll see.

So far so brilliant. Get it and listen on your knees, minions! The biggest surprise of the year and my personal number one for 2009 so far, along the new Mastodon, of course.


by Marcin "Dethster4life" Lewandowski

6 out of 6 - Marcin Lewandowski


"Thrashpit Zine"

Thrashpit Zine

http://www.rocknworld.com/thrashpit/reviews/09/Gollum_-_The_Core_.shtml

Hearing The Core is the aural equivalent of drilling through the Earth's many layers. In much the same way our planet's crust consists of various rocks constituting one whole, so too does this record mix a plethora of genres into one distinct sound. Regardless of the starting point, however, the final destination is an unbridled passion at the center of it all.

The sophomore effort from Wilmington, North Carolina's Gollum, The Core is a versatile record effortlessly molding every sub-genre of heavy metal into one effortless sonic identity. In the same way one might glance too fast at Michelangelo's David and miss a detail, The Core rewards multiple listens with an intricate and unique take on the art of heaviness. Elements of death, black, doom, sludge, thrash and progressive metal all appear, crafting a style of metal familiar yet alien. Winding yet claustrophobic, it is the sound of a massive cave system collapsing inwards.

The moody opening ambience of "The Calm Before," first signals this trend, soon erupting into a whirlwind of time signature changes and angular riffs. The title track comes next, unleashing a thrash metal hook as sharp as a pickaxe and harmonics which sear eardrums like chunks of lit phosphorous.

In stark contrast stands "Ominous Winds," an ethereal number sporting ghostly chords ebbing in and out of focus. Beautiful yet eerie, "Winds" oscillates between a soft caress and a crushing avalanche. Capping it off is a wavering, Pink Floyd-worthy guitar climax, the likes of which is amongst the album's most haunting moments.

"Blacksmith (Summoning Wrath)" crafts a war-like brand of metal from the innovations of Mastodon, Meshuggah and Lamb of God, creating a modern killing machine of stunning viciousness. The guitars are choking and massive; conversely, their absence provokes the sensation of falling down an abandoned mineshaft into a terrifying void of nothingness. Working its way into a panicked frenzy, "Blacksmith" emerges as a clear contender for album highlight.

"Diggin,'" meanwhile, is a song which channels primal aggression into a tribal litany of violence, simplistic and repetitive. The guitars pound like migraines before floating away like specks in one's vision; though the tension they conjure is relentless, it shifts form again and again with ease.

"Amor Fati," for its part, is a soft yet psychedelic interlude which paves the way for the wild "Darkhouse." Careening wildly, "Darkhouse" exhibits the best of the band's attributes - massive but precise guitars, percussion as rhythmic as a heartbeat, spastic freakouts and vitriolic vocals so strong the spittle flies out of headphones.

"The Burden of Ubiquitous Scars" is next, slashing with oft-kilter guitar tones before calming down into a passage of free-flowing ambience. This interlude of relative tranquility does not last long, soon bursting forth with a blistering assault of blastbeats and blackened shrieks.

After this," Schadenfreude" turns heads with a few chilling piano keys before unleashing another rabid metal anthem with the flexibility of a writhing cobra. Between the soaring guitar solos, charging punk percussion and slamming guitars, this one has something for everyone.

The shadowy "Carver Bones" reveals the possibility of new musical territory, fusing the piercing leads of arena rock with pulverizing death riffs cloaked in a hazy sludge. It is also a real head trip, sounding wondrously organic despite the fact it is a meticulously-crafted piece of music.

The album's grand finale is "Omens," a surreal composition combining paranoid psychedelia with gothic melancholy. It drifts like fox fire, shimmering in the gloomy dusk around it. Though it lacks the bludgeoning brutality of other songs, "Omens" is still undeniably heavy, standing as a testament towards Gollum's versatility.

Featuring guest appearances from Lamb of God's Randy Blythe, Weedeater's Dave "Dixie" Collins and Hope & Suicide's Scott Angelacos, The Core is one of those best-kept secrets which will not remain hidden for long. Though for now Gollum remains mired in the heavy metal underground, music this ambitious and exquisite will rise to the surface sooner rather than later. Here's hoping The Core gets unearthed by many; in the meantime, chalk this up as one of my early contenders for sleeper album of 2009. - Mark Hensch

Rating: 10 out of 10! - Mark Hensch


"Metal Maniacs"

"Super-ultra-mega complex in structure and style, this one takes a few listens to grasp but once it takes root, may never grow old. Equally as tortured and biomechanical as it is free-flowing and organic…rapes ears with a low-end gut-punch that’s almost entirely instrumental outside of its haunting samples and guest appearances (Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe appears on the bludgeoning “Cross-Pollenation” and Weedeater frontman Dave ‘Dixie’ Collins sings on “Tears for a Finite Moon – Dreams of Perpetual Night”). Lesser Traveled Waters most likely appeal to fans of everything from Neurosis to Tool to Will Haven to Aphotic to Meatjack, along with attributes to both Lamb of God and Weedeater…not that they necessarily sound like any one of these acts individually. Regardless, Gollum have coughed up a wholly satisfying 46–minute release filled with chugging low-end sub-death metal, paranoid post-doom and apocalyptic melody. Get this" - Dave Brenner - Dave Brenner


"Stoner Rock.com"

In North Carolina, way back in the hills, lurks a hideous yet artful beast the local villagers fearfully call Gollum. Lesser Traveled Waters is the band's new release and is one of the most original metal records composed in a long time.

Gollum are one of those bands that takes from all kinds of metal (black, death, doom, thrash, industrial, classic prog, you name it), and mix it tastefully into a creepy concoction that is more impressive than any other genre-jumping band. Although this record is executed through many different styles and is mainly instrumental, the overall feel of it is the same. Lesser Traveled Waters is sinister and aggressive and sometimes downright horrifying. There are a good amount of samples on this album, coming from sources I couldn't recognize (which means you won't be running into any rehashed sound bites from Wickerman or Watership Down or whatever Skinny Puppy and Neurosis have used before). The samples are used in a narrative fashion and are placed cleverly within the music so the lack of vocals is never really an issue. The keyboards and sonic guitar work add an ethereal tone to all of the songs. The rhythm section is tight as it can get and thunderous to match. A definite step for this band would be composing soundtracks to an Argento film since their current material is so damn psychotic.

The funny thing about Lesser Traveled Waters is that as deviously crafted and inventive as this piece is, Gollum chose to recruit two of the nastiest and dirtiest troglodytes I have ever met, Dixie Dave (Weedeater) and Randy Blythe (Lamb of God), who supply their renown caustic voices to "Tears For a Finite Moon" and "Cross-Pollination," respectively.

This is a great recording and should be listened to by fans of OLD, Mastodon, Yeti, Zombi, and even something like Gorgoroth.
- Velcro Lewis
- Velcro Lewis


"Metal Eagle"

Metal Eagle - http://www.metaleagle.com (Oct 2004, reviews page 120)

When you have Steve Austin of TODAY IS THE DAY doing the mastering of your album, D. Randall Blythe of LAMB OF GOD and Dixie Dave Collins from WEEDEATER doing guest vocals on 2 of your songs, then you are not the average I-wanna-play-like-IN-FLAMES-or-KILLSWITCH-ENGAGE kind of band and your name is most probably GOLLUM. Instead of pursuing the easy way of recognition through New-Wave-Of-Stoner-Doom-Metal or New-Wave-Of-American-Hardcore-Metal, GOLLUM chose to play with ingenuity and sharpness music that comes directly from the spirit of each one of those lads. In “Lesser Traveled Waters� you will find psychedelic moments a-la NEUROSIS, ultra heavy and technical composing a-la MASTODON, the soft moments a-la THE TEA PARTY or the progressive parts a-la DREAM THEATER. Is there anything else you need to understand that this band has a stylish way to infuse all those influences into one? If so, then buy the album and listen for yourselves! And on top of that, witness how easy to listen is the whole album, even for the average listener who thinks that THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN have no order whatsoever in their music.

- Konstantinos Vasilakos
- Konstantinos Vasilakos


"Transcending the Mundane"

Gollum hails from Wilmington, North Carolina and stands out for their originality. The tribal, trance-inducing music of Frank Stroehmer (guitars), his brother Serge (bass), and Hunter Holland (drums) creates a surrealistic environment and has no parallels I can think of. Josh Novicki adds yet another dimension with live programming; incorporating keyboards, samples and vocals done by the group. They got their start in 2001 with Promise Of Nightfall and recorded the Darkhouse Demos a year later. Their latest offering, Lesser Traveled Waters, provides a leap in production quality (it was mastered by Steve Austin of Today Is The Day) and a continued commitment to provide "a true artistic alternative to the world of aggressive music." The liner notes are also noteworthy, providing not quite lyrics, but more like little passages of text, bits that will be spoken by the album's many voices:

I shall not fear my divinity of flesh. My bestial horns stand on high. The hell the enslaver speaks of shall never consume my soul, as the flock are stripped of their worth.

or,

The greatest crime in history was against the whole human race, when they stole our divinity from us. Just when we had finally realized our divine nature, they stole it from us and gave it to one man, then turned the rest of us into sheep.

The album begins with the sound of a record being put on and then it's the crushing groove of 'Snakepath'. Stroehmer's guitars are chunky as hell and the musicianship is both heavy and loose. I am reminded in terms of attitude of Mastodon. There's also a definite stoner vibe here. Remember what they said about an alternative to aggressive music? Well, you don't need one. This is very heavy music! Listen to this bizarre black-metal esque hook at the 1:15 mark, with ugly blast beats by Holland and blackened keys by Novicki. Wow. Then they tear through sections that sound like elite power metal with electronica. What is this bizarre, gurgling death vocal at the 3:05 mark? That's twisted, man. More grooving, elite power metal on 'Refusal of the Call'. And now you can also hear a Nu-Metal influence in the riffing. This is hot stuff, and the drums are mixed really high, so you ride with Holland the whole way. Another nice touch on the boards is the sudden voices, which sometimes come in jarringly loud. Also notice how the band messes constantly with the bass and treble equalization. Are these Austin's touches? If so, they gave him tremendous latitude. Gollum is not content to follow SOPs. "Cross Pollination" features D. Randall Blythe from Lamb of God on vocals and is one of the better songs I've heard in awhile. It begins with shimmering guitars out of 'Children of the Grave'. Then a man and a woman come in alternating the same lines of poetry before it explodes into technical black metal. Anyone who loves Satan or Neurosis will rejoice. Too good to be true, thrash beats, crushing double bass, and the shrieks of Blythe, all my needs are being met. 'Amor Fati' is a nice interlude, Stroehmer's opportunity to show his talents on acoustic guitar. Then 'The Burden of Ubiquitous Scars' brings us back to ground with Progressive Muscle Metal. This is what Pantera should have become. Nice bass work here by brother Serge, he's finally getting his moment in the spotlight. Then it starts sounding like a David Lynch soundtrack, with some haunting female vocals. This crushing power metal at the end is insane and they just groove and groove forever. Reclamation of the Essence sounds like Big Country meets FinnTroll. The break at the 3:00 mark is Futurist on a level exceeding Townsend and equaling Darkane. I love The Dissolution of Faith, at this point it's like great prog rock, almost Yes-like. But they alternate with bursts of technical metal that are insane. And segue effortlessly into progressive thrash with Mastodon-like tom explosions by Holland. The bizarre whispering here is creepy, unsettling. The song is divided into four stanzas, the latter of which are bizarre, beautiful and at times sound like a horror movie soundtrack. 'Tears for a Finite Moon (Dreams of perpetual Night)' is no less serious, and damn has guest Dixie Dave Collins of Weedeater got a serious black metal screech! What is the weird speech at the beginning of 'Fall of Penitents'? ('you dirty old man, you smart-ass kid')? OH love that progressive doom riffing!! On the closer, 'Beyond the storm', is a mix of blazing hot Nu-Metal and godlike Power. As always, the electronica touches of Novicki are creepy, alien in a Texas Chainsaw kind of way. What are these twisted vocal clips at the end two girls talking I swear to god I feel like I just saw a good horror movie. Tech fans, this is the one to get. Stoner fans, this is the one to get. Black fans, this is one to experiment with successfully. Really, Gollum should call Relapse Records immediately, because they would fit in perfectly with their technical, groundbreaking line-up of Mastodon, Cephalic Carnage, Suffocation, Neurosis, Dysrhythmia, etc. As artistic a release in the metal genre as I can remember in recent years, Lesser Traveled Waters is probably going to end up one of the most aptly titled metal albums of the year, in addition to one of the best.

- Ladd Everitt
- Ladd Everitt


"1340mag.com"

1340mag.com http://1340mag.com/review_gollum_lessertraveledwaters.htm

DAYMN! Compare this with my initial book-by-the-cover reaction I had to the bands name and preconception I had in expecting something along the lines of overwrought LOTR-worship-oriented orchestral metal act. Lesson learned. Here's a killer CD I am hard-pressed to cubby-hole into a neatly fitting genre. Heavy bottom bass and concussive drums wrapped around a crunchy guitar center lightly sprinkled with blip-blop sampling - no nougat required. Vocals (non-sampled I should qualify) are sparse and frankly I am glad to see it - the arrangements here are more than strong enough to stand on their own. I often find myself wishing there was more good metal that just side-stepped vocals altogether. Too often it has to be mentioned in reviews that the band in question "isn't breaking any new ground" or "sounds undifferentiated" from other bands. I can't fully catalogue the flavors you'll find within but they are diverse and comprehensive as the likes of old TAD and stoneresque in the tradition of Fu-manchu with the mind-bending of Scratch Acid and Acid Bath. All without sacrificing a relentless heaviness or feeling obligated to dress it up in faster rhythms. Even if it weren't for the guest appearances of Dixie (from Weedeater) and D. Randall Blythe (of Lamb Of God) I'd recommend this hands-down as a must have album - if for no other reason than to immerse yourself in a definition shattering world where heavy is not as heavy DOES, but just IS. Easily the best new band I have been exposed to in the last couple years. I hope these guys stick around as I'll eagerly be awaiting more material while thankful "Lesser Traveled Waters" just refuses to get old.

- Matt Brammer
- Matt Brammer


"Live4Metal"

“As the metal world continues to fill up with predictable bands (Swedish melodic death anyone?), we’re beginning to see groups like Gollum retaining the heaviness but pushing the boundaries of the genre. Interestingly enough, the band included in its press pack a one-page list of e-mails from fans touting the merits of Lesser Traveled Waters, including none other than Today is the Day’s Steve Austin (assuming of course this isn’t some kind of joke). From one boundary-pusher to another I guess. Gollum is not as “out there” as TITD and I’m perfectly fine with that because I’ve heard plenty from the mathematical noise chaos crowd the last few months. What Gollum does well is combine copious amounts of riffage with synth, programming, and samples that move swiftly through the bloodstream. Hunter Holland’s drumming pulverizes with foot speed and induces seizures with the fervor of an octopus on speed. The majority of the music on this 11-track disc is without any actual lead vocals, with the exception of a few tracks that utilize something along the lines of mid-paced distorted death growls and anguished screams. Lamb of God’s D. Randall Blythe and Weedeater’s Dixie Dave Collins even make an appearance on “Cross-Pollenation” and “Tears for a Finite Moon (Dreams of Perpetual Night),” respectively, the latter in particular being an atom smasher of a tune if I’ve ever heard one. If the appearance of said heavyweights is not a stamp of approval or indication of the quality herein, then you’re probably reading the wrong review. Spoken word samples and befuddling electronica are woven into the fabric in a way that keeps the album from sounding like mere background music or the jumbled mess of neuron misfirings many of today’s metal mathematicians churn out. Gollum deftly keeps the album sounding like extreme metal with groove and heft, yet pulls together an interesting mosaic of sounds that sets them apart from both the more traditional metal and noise core packs - not an easy thing to do and I applaud them for it. These waters are indeed lesser traveled.”

– Scott - Scott


"Sea of Tranquility"

“Gollum's Lesser Traveled Waters might just be one of the most unique metal CD's I have heard in quite some time. Sort of like a weird combination of death metal, stoner/doom metal, thrash, and a dose of psychedelic prog, the four fellows in this North Carolina band certainly get major points for doing something different, as the eleven tracks here of mostly instrumental brutality are chock full of more killer guitar riffs and grooves than most bands with twice the track record can muster.
You heard that right; this release is for the most part instrumental, save for a few tunes that have manic death metal growls, or psychedelic, phased out narrations, as on the rampaging "Refusal of the Call." On that cut, guitarist Frank Stroehmer lays down some speedy and powerful riff-o-rama over the frenzied rhythm section of drummer Hunter Holland and bassist Serge Stroehmer. Josh Novicki adds all sorts of eerie keyboard and electronic soundscapes, as well as odd loops & samples throughout the CD, which gives the music a somewhat progressive and futuristic edge. His haunting, Mellotron-like waves counter the rampaging death metal assault of "Cross Pollenation", while "Amor Fati" features some atmospheric acoustic guitar textures that lead into the mighty "The Burden of Ubiquitous Scars", a song that is like a cross between Porcupine Tree and Slayer. Brutal guitar riffs meet chilling atmosphere on the intelligent instrumental "Reclamation of the Essence", a song with many moods and time changes, while "The Dissolution of Faith" is without a doubt the most progressive track on the CD. This four-part tune could have easily been a lost track off of Dream Theater's latest release, as it mixes churning guitar riffs with vast keyboard effects and intricate time signatures. Less interesting is the bands take on black metal with "Tears for a Finite Moon", complete with generic riffs and garbled vocals, but thankfully they redeem themselves with the mix of doom and technical metal on "Fall of Penitents" and the groove 'n' chunk of "Beyond the Storm."
Like I said earlier, there's more crunchy riffs here than you will find on most other metal releases. While I like the bands mixing of metal with electronica, I think they are still finding their own niche, and it will be interesting to see where they go from here. A great start guys!” - Pete Pardo
- Pete Pardo


"Sleazegrinder"

“I don’t think they particularly wanna commit to either, but Gollum might be the world’s first stoner rock-black metal band. And while that was, by no stretch of the imagination, BOUND to happen, it’s a pretty logical evolution, really. I mean, what goes better with Satan than drugs, right? As such, the constantly churning soundscapes of "Lesser Traveled Waters" is like some kinda heavy rock buffet, as trance-y acid-doom passages give way to vicious Slayer riffs and a demonic rasp, which eventually collapse into King Diamond-esque unearthly choirs, and back again. It’s quite mad, no doubt about it, and more ambitious then any bedeviled dope fiends from Wilmington, NC really oughta be, but with all this fuzzy pretzel logic going on, it pretty much never gets boring. Largely instrumental (the song titles are so long - "The Dissolution of Faith, part ii: Despondent Search for Truth", etc.- that I guess they couldn’t fit too many more words into the actual songs), with a few episodes of devil-barking and a smattering of vocal samples to liven things up, Gollum is total mind-movie music, perfect for dustheads and schizophrenics. I dunno how well all the brainiac stuff is gonna wash with yr average beer swilling metalhead, but certainly the stoner-prog dudes and the black metal cellar dwellars’ll eat it up. And hell, what with the creepy oil paintings and pseudo-satanic gibberish, it might even throw a few parents into a tizzy. So, there ya go. It sure ain’t rock n’ roll, but it’s heavy and almost evil, and I bet yr at least one of those too, right?” - Sleazegrinder


Discography

- 2001 'Promise of Nightfall' (5 song EP)

- 2002 'Dark House Demos' (5 song EP)

- 2004 'Lesser Traveled Waters' (11 song self-released LP)

- 2008 'GOLLUM' (3 song self-released promo)

- 2009 'The Core' (11 song Rotten Records released LP)

Photos

Bio

Formed in late summer of 1998 by Hunter Holland and brothers Frank and Serge Stroehmer, Wilmington, North Carolina's GOLLUM - a name derived from the Yiddish “goylem” (shapeless mass) -  is the epitome of original metal. From the moment they stepped into a room for that all important first jam, the hypnotic corrosive guitars of Frank Stroehmer, the pulsating bass of his brother Serge, and the blitzkrieg drumming of Hunter Holland all combined to create a surrealistic environment, out of step with boring verse-chorus-verse confinements in traditional songwriting. "The chemistry was undeniable,” explains Frank, whom later began to incorporate samples and keyboards to extend Gollum’s palette to epic sonic proportions.

After honing their craft to a sharp yet muscular point, GOLLUM took their act on the road, playing show after show to awed audiences in their wake from North Carolina to California. Over the past decade, they have shared the stage with Mastodon, Slayer, Lamb of God, Chimaira, Shadowsfall, Soilent Green, Weedeater, Vital Remains, 3 Inches of Blood, Marylin Manson, Trivium, Hatebreed, Incantation, In This Moment, God Forbid, Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse, Killswitch Engage, Five Finger Death Punch, Job For A Cowboy, Death Angel, The Acacia Strain, Bullet For My Valentine, Rwake, Alabama Thunderpussy, Minsk, The Dave Brockie Experience (GWAR), Dysrhythmia, Lake Trout, Skeletonwitch, and Crisis.

GOLLUM self-produced and released their first full-length album in 2004. Lesser Traveled Waters featured a track with Grammy-nominated singer D. Randall Blythe of Lamb of God and was well received with numerous positive reviews from the mainstream and the underground alike.

With the goal to constantly push their sound to higher levels, their intensity catalyzed with the addition of vocalist Shawn Corbett in early 2008. At this time a considerable buzz was going around about the band, and they caught the attention of LA-based label Rotten Records. After a three month courting process and a successful showcase in Wilmington, the band signed with the label in June 2008. GOLLUM quickly went into the studio to craft and perfect what would become their first Rotten release, The Core which has since recieved a host of very positive reviews.

By summer’s end, the band was almost finished with the album, becoming increasingly excited about what the future held for them. Tragically, a few weeks after he completed The Core drum tracks, founding member Hunter Holland suddenly died of heart failure on September 10, 2008 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The surviving members were beyond devastated by Holland’s passing, and put everything on hold while they pondered the loss of their brother and the future of the band without one of its integral members.

As time passed, they felt Hunter would have wanted them to soldier on, and so came the daunting and seemingly impossible task of finding a new drummer. Seth Long, an extraordinary drummer and close friend had previously performed and written with Frank in another band. The only recruit, he was welcomed into the fold and played his first show with GOLLUM at the end of 2008 on New Year's Eve, fulminating a fresh start for 2009.

The band has since continued to play and promote for audiences along the East Coast in support of the Rotten Records global release of The Core on April 14, 2009. Having also received an official endorsement from Jägermesiter®, GOLLUM has performed for thousands over the past two years on the Jägermesiter® mobile stage at the Rockstar Energy Drink®  Mayhem Festival.