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  HOLLOW HAZE
'Memories Of An Ancient Time'
(Scarlet Records)
Release Date: 9th June 2015


Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland



hollow haze

Italian power Metallers Hollow Haze had a bit of a problem when faced with recording this, their sixth full length studio album.

Fabio Lione had been their singer on the 2013 release 'Countdown To Revenge' but he and the band parted ways not long before the album was due to be recorded (possibly because of his commitments as a member of Rhapsody Of Fire, Vision Divine and Angra!).

Hollow Haze's answer has been to pull in a selection of guest singers, namely Amanda Somerville, Mats Leven, Rick Altzi, Claudia Layline and Ivan Giannini. This is a talented bunch of singers to say the least and is a novel answer to their lack of a vocalist in the short term.

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Hollow Haze have always been a band entrenched firmly in power Metal territory and while they stretch into all avenues that allows that is still the case here. The material is all of a pretty high standard and making full use of the dynamics of the vocalists available to them this time they have crafted something not a million miles away from the feel of one of Amanda Somerville's other bands, Avantasia.

There is plenty of full on double bass drum attack style in songs such as 'Rain Of Firelights' (which is almost Dragonforce speed at times) and 'Created To Live' as you might expect. However there is plenty of variety on offer too. 'A New Era' is haunting and atmospheric while 'Eyes Of The Sphinx' is suitably epic and mysterious in style to suit it's title.

hollow haze

My copy had no breakdown with it of who sang what so it was either fun or frustrating depending on your point of view trying to figure out which set of tonsils you were hearing at any one time.

It sounded to me like Mats Leven got the lions share of the work and it's a shame if he is too busy to be a full band member like Lione before him as he acquits himself admirably. He is able to cover all the styles the band need with ease and excels at all of them.

The most easily recognisable vocal comes from Amanda Somerville duetting on 'An Ancient Story'. Her trademark rich, warm tones add hugely to an impressive epic sounding number which has an echo of 'Holy Diver' era Dio to my ears.

Overall this is an enjoyable romp through suitably epic, classic power Metal territory enhanced by all the guest vocalists invited to the party. All the singing is first rate as is the playing and Mika Jussila's mastering makes it all sound terrific too.

It's the variety of singers which probably makes this stand out from the power Metal pack though so I'm not sure where this leaves Hollow Haze as a band. I suspect there may be interesting times ahead for these ambitious Italians.

Line up:
Nick Savio: Guitars
Dave Cestaro: Bass Guitar
Camillo Colleluori: Drums

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