Myson said he locked himself away in a studio with the guitar he's long yearned for, tracking the first live sketches with drums, bass and synths. As a result, tracks like "Murmur," "Reflection Through Destruction" and "Vesper" wear raw live instrumentation on the surface; elsewhere, a more synthesised and processed sound prevails. The faux-ritualism of "Redeemer," which revolves around a heavily reverberated choir that pines and aches, evokes the methodology of Forest Swords.
Indeed, there are similarities between the dankness and organic sound of Engravings and some of Hollowed's moodier cuts, like chilly opener "A Delicate Balance" and the claustrophobic "Nex." Myson is also careful to drop in the odd dance-friendly nod. The grim "Terminus" and "Cobra" are two swampy bass bangers that ferry you back to the Ital Tek of yore. There's also something faintly familiar about the bright and colourful synth chimes and purring snares in "Aquamarine."
The ghost of footwork flutters at the heart of "Jenova," which, heavily under the influence of Górecki's "Symphony No. 3," is a soaring example of the dynamic arrangements Myson set out to achieve. Its pulse, so thin at first, rolls out of the picture as tension clots thickly in the foreground, before rolling back in again with force. The beat gathers intensity as it bundles up with heavily charged atmospherics, only to bleed out as quietly as it crept in.
"Jenova" is Hollowed's dramatic climax and its standout, but "Vacuum I" is a close second. Sullen strings do the work of a thudding beat—this time evoking the propellers of a helicopter—and slice through the heady air. It's melancholic until the final minutes, when warm beams break through in shining finale. As the realised aspirations of Myson's inner-teen, Hollowed is startlingly articulate and mature.