Released: 2015, Scarlet Records
Fabio Lione is one and done with these Italian power metal fiends. No surprise actually, as the band has now been through four vocalists in five albums. MEMORIES OF AN ANCIENT TIME is the band’s 6th full-length offering, and features a bevy of guest vocalists, with Mats Belvin (Swedish Erotica, Therion, Abstrakt Algebra, Ywngwie) handling the lions share. Amanda Sommerville (Kiske/Sommerville) and Rick Altzi (Masterplan) also contribute vocals among others. Despite the revolving door of singers, Hollow Haze has managed yet again to write a strong and appealing album, which is the second of a trilogy that began with COUNTDOWN TO REVENGE.
After a throw away intro (seriously, these things are so overdone in power metal), the album kicks off properly with the expected fast song, “Rain Of Fire Lights”, which showcases everybody’s considerable talents. Without question, it is one of the signature tracks among many and Nick Savio’s guitar work is sure to grab people’s attention. The guest vocalists are used to great effect, but Belvin carries things, sharing many qualities with Andi Deris in the lower ranges. Most of the album is fairly speedy European power metal, but there are chunks of variety thrown in, as with “Eyes Of The Sphinx” with its acoustic intro and slow build to a melodic solo and middle section. “Created To Live” brings all the bands variations together under one composition, and it is good place to start for folks getting a feel for the album.
Mika Jussila mastered the album and has lent his expert hand in capturing all the heavy and bombastic elements. The album runs somewhat long, and following the story will require one to pay attention and indulge a few listens to appreciate how things connect. Ultimately, MEMORIES OF AN ANCIENT TIME is a well-constructed modern power metal album that sadly is from a band that increasingly appears to be only a studio band. Great albums help, but you gotta wonder how you can make a go at things when you have a new singer every album. Here’s hoping they are gifted some consistency in the future.