“Hollowlands” is the second album from Italian progressive metal band Chronos Zero. The full title is “Hollowlands – The Tears Path: Chapter One.” The band have a lot in common with bands such as Symphony X, DGM and a bit of Dream Theater. Musically they are incredibly talented players. I suppose that should be a given since they play extreme prog metal.
There are two things that aren’t quite what I was hoping for. There is a symphonic component to what they do. I love symphonic metal but it’s not needed here. The band are so over the top as it is, it feels like they are going in too many directions at once.
That leads to the second issue which is three different types of vocals. Female vocals, male clean vocals and male harsh vocals are all present here. I love dynamics but it gets a bit much with the vocals jumping all over the place, much like the music does. All the vocalists are quite good though, so it’s not a problem with ability.
Chronos Zero are not about subtlety at all. “Hollowlands” pushes the limits on everything at all times. This cuts both ways. I think the bombast will appeal to MANY people. The songs are full of melody and a shitload of notes fly around all over the place. But 70 minutes of this gets tiring. Maybe I am just getting old?
The bottom line is that if the band focused themselves a bit more, they could be absolutely devastating. But too many cooks spoil the pot in this case. Even in prog, you can over do it. Granted, it takes A LOT to do that, but “Hollowlands” is an exercise in excess.
1. The Compression of Time
4. On the Tears of Path
5. Who Are You? (A Shape of Nothingness)
6. Who Am I? (Overcame by Blackwater Rain)
7. Ruins of the Memories of Fear
8. Phalanx of Madness
9. Oblivion Pt. 1 – The Underworld
10. Oblivion Pt. 2 – The Trial of Maat
11. Oblivion Pt. 3 – The Harp
12. The Fall of the Balance
13. Near the Nightmare
14. From Chaos to Chaos
Label: Scarlet Records