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Hollow's Gathering
January 2013
Released: 2012, Inner Wound
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: JP

Heleno Vale is back with the third installment of Heleno Vale's Metal Opera, entitled HOLLOW'S GATHERING. Back in 2010, I was extremely impressed with Part 2, THE LABYRINTH OF TRUTHS, so impressed in fact it made my Top 20 for the year. Fortunately, Vale continues the high level of quality into Part Three. JP Fournier created another great piece for the art and the production team of Matt Smith and Miro did a stellar production job.

Once again Vale recruits an incredible number of musicians from around the world to help him realize his vision and create the stunning, awe-inspiring project. On HOLLOW'S GATHERING no less than 30 musicians appear on this album, closer to 36 I think. I know that when writing a CD review, including a long list of the 'Guest Stars', may overshadow the excellent work of the composer by name-dropping a bunch of Metal Gods and Goddesses. However, by including these names, that star power may attract new listeners to the Metal Opera; people that might not know who Vale is. So here goes!

Amanda Somerville Vocals

Blaze Bayley Vocals

Carlos Zema Vocals

Christian Passos Vocals

Daisa Munhoz Vocals

Eduardo Santos Drums

Fábio Laguna Keyboards

Fernando Giovannetti Bass

Frank Tischer Piano

Gabriel Magioni Keyboards

Gabriel Viotto Drums

Gui Antonioli Vocals

Iuri Sanson Vocals

Jefferson Albert Vocals

Leandro Caçoilo Vocals

Leandro Erba Guitars

Livia Ishitami Vocals

Lucas Martins Vocals

Manuela Saggioro Vocals

Marco Lambert Guitars

Mario Pastore Vocals

Markus Grosskopf Bass

Matt Smith Vocals

Michael Vescera Vocals

Michel Souza Vocals

Nando Fernandes Vocals

Pedro Campos Vocals

Rodolfo Pagotto Guitars

Rollie Feldmann Guitars

Thiago Amendola Guitars

Tim Owens Vocals

Tito Falaschi Vocals, Bass

Victor Emeka Vocals

HOLLOW'S GATHERING logically is very solar in terms of design, production and presentation as the previous chapters. The entire 10 song, 55 minute album is packed with sterling performances that constitute epic, symphonic, Power Metal songs with a heavy European flair, despite the Brazilian location. Every song is an intense listening experience with choirs, male and female vocals juxtaposing each other in duets and alternate verses. The backup vocals fill out the choral parts making this sound larger than life. If anything this album is a shade faster, darker and heavier than the previous installment. Checkout the ripping guitars and really fast double bass kicks of Vale on the song 'The Dead Tree', just before the breakdown with piano and keyboards section in the middle. Excellent stuff. This 6+ minute song is multi-dimensional, with many facets, female vocals, with more acoustic piano before taking off again in a race for the finish line. This song is a mini-opera in itself!

I feel Heleno Vale's Metal Opera is as good as any Metal Opera produced by Tobias Sammet (Avantasia), Liverani (Genius), or Lucassen (Ayreon). I can easily recommend this chapter and indeed the entire Metal Opera, to anyone. Check out the bands excellent website too for full details on the story and guests.
Track Listing

1. Hollow's Gathering
2. A Rescue into the Storm
3. To Crawl or to Fly
4. Anymore
5. Adrian's Call
6. Change the Tide
7. Echoes from Hell
8. The Keeper's Game
9. The Dead Tree
10. A Whisper Inside


Heleno Vale- Drums

Many guests stars (see body of review)

Next review: » SoulSpell - The Labyrinth Of Truths
Previous review: » Soulspell - A Legacy Of Honour

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