Fun Punctured Eardrums
Like many a metal band, Hollow Haze has had a revolving door when it comes to vocalists. After the the band parted with Fabio Lione, the band surprised a great many by announcing they would be having Mats Leven, Ivan Giannini, Amanda Somerville, Claudia Layline, and Rick Altzi as guest vocalists for their new album, Memories Of An Ancient Time. With this new slew of singers to the plate and the precision and excellence of the core band members, how would the new album fare?
The music is most excellent, boasting symphonic and progressive metal aspects. Each song serves as its own adventure, as evidenced by “Lance of Destiny” and its Middle-Eastern intro. This is usually a common point when it comes to Italian metal. Heavy, predictable, yet refreshing, the music produced for this album is beyond reproach. Songs like the show-stopping “An Ancient Story” and “Created to Live” give a tour-de-force of Hollow Maze’s musical prowess, with lilting guitar riffs, perfectly accented drums leading to a fantastic crowd pleaser choruses. When it comes to a key issue on the album, it would have to be the guest vocal line up.
With no solid track list available annotating which singer sang where, it is nigh impossible to determine to which artist one would be referring. However, for the four singers available, there was an abrasive, lack luster presence specifically with the male vocalists. “Rain of Fire Lights” and “Angel Di Fuoco” both start off harsh and off-kilter from what the preceding music alludes to, making it sound like the gentlemen were trying too hard. Contrariwise, the female vocalists, Layline and Somerville, are beautiful, strong and yet ethereal, creating harmonies that are a blessing to hear.
Despite the major issues, the music and flair of Hollow Haze’s Italian metal on Memories Of An Ancient Time is not something to miss out on.