CD Title: Hollowscene
Label: Black Widow Records (2018)
Rating: Classic Symphonic Prog with a Seventies Flair
This is a band that originally formed way back in early nineties as a duo, then took a long break before reforming in 2016 to release their first album entitled The Burial. Around that time they went from a duo to seven members and changed their name to Hollowscene. This self-titled album is the first with all seven members and as such is a concept album based on Shakespeare’s tragedy of Coriolanus. Five of the album’s seven tracks are devoted to telling that story, the other two bonus tracks include a Gentle Giant cover “The Moon is Down” [4:27] and a rearranged version of an older track called “The Worm” [7:54]. The music of Hollowscene hearkens back to the golden age of seventies Symphonic Progressive Rock with key inspiration coming from a mix of early Genesis and Camel. The fact they have a dedicated flute player who also provides back-up vocals and two keyboard players emphasizes this point, but so does their rather classic instrument lie-up. Most of the band’s compositions are long-ish, six, seven, eight and thirteen minutes allowing for all the classic symphonic sweeps and grand musical crescendos. The music is full of call-and-response musical elements with guitars and keyboards trading melodic lead lines. The story they’ve selected is grand and so the music delivers on that point. Some will undoubtedly quibble with the band’s choice of singing in English given some of the accented pronunciation issues but like always that’s a minor quibble to my mind and something that will improve with each outing. Over all I was really taken with the band’s style. While it was nostalgic it was also very much a music of their own making simply using musical sounds of earlier days. Hollowscene is definitely a band I’d recommend to fans of seventies styled Symphonic Prog.