HOLLOW HAZE – Hollow Haze

HOLLOW HAZE - Hollow Haze
  • 8/10
    HOLLOW HAZE - Hollow Haze - 8/10


My Graveyard Productions
Release date: April 1, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Being the new band of guitarist Nick Savio (ex. White Skull) and singer Dan Keying (ex. Cydonia), you’d probably expect Hollow Haze’s music to be a mix of Heavy/Prog Metal influences, and that is right -– but in an inventive and original way. This is not a huge feat in today’s over-crowded music business, but mixing style characteristics from such diverse bands as Shadow Gallery, King Diamond, and Black Label Society, this American/Italian band (or project, who knows) will blow you away from the very first spin of this self-titled debut album. The band, which is completed by bassist Matt Cingano and drummer Paolo Veronese, may very well turn out to be one of the big surprises of 2007 … and here’s why:

The melodic and Shadow Gallery-ish “Breathless” opens the ball after a short intro, and grabs you immediately with its heavy riffs and breathtaking chorus (thus the title “Breathless,” supposedly). Keying impresses with his Halford/Sebastian Bach-style screams, and the band, led by Savio, sounds full and tight. “Final Contest” is more energetic and shows off Savio’s Zakk Wylde-style punch harmonic-ladden riffing. This track has to be an instant live favorite, and here it’s perfectly contrasted with “Easy Road,” which again is far more melodic. The chorus here is actually a bit reminiscent of Swedish Heavy Metal legends Lefay with its instant hook and choppy groove (dunno if they ever became legends … they should have at least). The title track is next, and this is among the album’s most progressive tracks. Although it’s not Watchtower-shreddy, there’s still a lot of things going on in here, but give it a few spins and it’ll grow on to you. Keying impresses with his powerful and diverse delivery -– ranging from the aforementioned high pitch lines to more soulful, Bluesy parts.

“Deceit For All” takes the listener back to melody-land, and a syncopated verse is succeeded by another of those magical choruses. One of the secrets behind the Hollow Haze approach is that they never make things too accessible, and if there’s one thing this album never becomes it’s obvious. This is very evident in “Deceit For All,” a track that’s catchy, yet dark and challenging at the same time. Unfortunately, it’s not that evident in “Waiting,” and you’ll have to decide whether or not you like or dislike the overly catchy chorus melody here. In any case “Waiting” is (at this point) possibly the weakest track on the album, not that that means a whole lot, though.

Being one of the two tracks clocking in at more than six minutes –- indeed unusual for a Prog Metal album, but pleasant nonetheless -– “Black Rainbow” is more in the vein of the title track; heavy, complex, dark, and utterly intriguing. This is a phenomenal track, combining every everything good Metal is made of into six magical minutes. “Illusion Around” does reasonably well in keeping the heat up, but neither this nor “Near The End” impresses to such extent as many of the other tracks do. The latter features some very groovy riffs and a very good, raunchy, verse part, but lacks that extra spark. Luckily, that spark is back when “Until Your Heaven,” an intricate and utterly diverse (what about double kicks and clean wah guitars in the same track, along with several time changes) Prog Metal majesty.

Hollow Haze is a debut album, which on the whole cannot be labelled anything but incredible. If there’s any justice in the Metal world, this band’s destined for great things in the very near future. You! Buy! Now!


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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