«Gollum» - biography, albums, songs, video clips

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” which literally translates to “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.

“Hunter and I met through a mutual friend during college at UNCW and always talked about getting together and jamming after realizing that each of us were into heavy music. I had played with Hunter and was very impressed to say the least. He was instantly and would forever be recognized as one of the best, most intense drummers the world has ever known! Serge soon came into the picture after moving down to Wilmington from Goldsboro to live with me. The three of us got acquainted and started jamming regularly. 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 Los Angeles to New York City and beyond. They opened for the likes of Mastodon, Soilent Green, Vital Remains, Slayer, Marylin Manson, Trivium, Incantation, God Forbid, Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse, Killswitch Engage, 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, Crisis, and NC’s sludge kings, Weedeater.

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 received numerous positive reviews. The heavy hitters were beginning to take notice.

Since their inception, the band had various vocalists before finding a keeper in early 2008 in the form of Shawn Corbett. A multi-instrumentalist and old friend of the band, Corbett’s talent and natural intensity were a perfect fit with the band’s music and their goals to keep taking their sound higher. At this time a considerable buzz was going around about Gollum, 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 to the label in June 2008. Gollum quickly went into the studio to craft and perfect what would become their first Rotten release, ‘The Core’.

By summer’s end, the band was almost finished with the album and getting 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 an apparent heart attack on September 10, 2008 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The surviving members were crushed 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. Yet they realized they had to soldier on as they felt Hunter would have wanted them to, and went about the task of searching for a new drummer.

Almost from the beginning of this process they had someone in mind.

Gifted drummer and friend Seth Long, who had played with Frank in a side project, was recruited into the fold, playing his first show with Gollum on New Year’s Eve of 2009.

The band has since continued to play and promote for audiences along the East Coast as Rotten Records released via major distribution ‘The Core’ on April 14, 2009.

REVIEW EXCERPTS of Gollum’s New Release, ‘The Core’:

“…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…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…”

— Imhotep

“…music this different that’s able to fire on all cylinders is the equivalent of expanding ones mind without the drugs.”

— Way Too Loud

“…an incredible album full of hauntingly exotic metal tunes and outright death metal bludgeon.”

— Away-Team

“This album is a brutal metal experience similar to something you might hear from Mastodon, possibly Isis, but then take those sounds and fly warp speed so far left of center that you’re fluttering around in your own dimension. Mixed with the traditional metal guitar tones and rhythmic soundings, we have Gollum experimenting with bizarre song structures and seemingly random mood swings that create a truly wondrous listening experience. “

—Ripple Effect

“While it certainly falls into the metal category, the band throws everything from vintage thrash riffs, sludge filled doom riffs and vicious vocal snarls at the listener and they make it work perfectly. Think early Megadeth meets Eyehategod…”

— Unbound

“The Core is one of the most complex, sonic-scraped albums of the year because you

literally have no idea where these guys are coming from, much less where they’re wading towards through their distorted furrows…”

— About.com