HOLLOW HAZE – Memories of an Ancient Time
What happens when you lose Fabio Lione to his more pressing activities for Rhapsody (Of Fire) and Angra? Well, if you are Italian progressive metal act Hollow Haze and you are on your sixth album "Memories of an Ancient Time", you pick yourself up and dial in another professional singer in the form of Mats Leven (Yngwie Malmsteen, Therion, Candlemass). Those who love the genre of melodic progressive metal and can handle occasional exotic/ majestic shifts along with forays into heavier terrain will find songs like "Rain of Fire Lights", "An Ancient Story" (featuring Amanda Somerville in a duet), and the dazzling "Gate to the Eternity" delectable.
Symphony X meets European power metal, "Memories of an Ancient Time" brings Hollow Haze up a couple of notches in terms of versatility, aggression, and musicianship. Mats’ sensitivity plus gritty textures open up a lot of entertainment value, especially when keyboardist Simone Giorgini and guitarist Nick Savio team up for their heroics on the undeniably catchy "Created to Live". Concern crept in regarding the group becoming too dependent on guest vocals – but I feel this album should prove to the naysayers that Hollow Haze is a real melodic progressive metal entity. Bassist Dave Cestaro and drummer Camillo Colleluori show off some subtle off-time maneuvers during "Night Is Calling" as well as capably handling faster material smoothly.
Run, do not walk, and purchase this record in digital or physical format.