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Holloway: Illusions

This young band from Michigan have been working on their debut album since 2007. Illusions has now seen the light of day and it came as a pleasant surprise to this reviewer. They have a fresh and exciting sound, playing with a brash intensity usually reserved for punk bands. At times the music is an all out aural assault on the senses but always maintaining a great sense of melodic structure. In the band are Ross Morgan (drums, guitars, keys, vocals), Josh Morgan (bass, programming, string arrangements) and Shawn Julien (guitars). Guests include Andy Inglat (additional keyboards) and Per Bergqvist (additional guitar solo on "Illusions").

What you will find here are metallic guitar rhythms, powerful drum work and the expressive lead vocals Ross Morgan. Off kilter rhythms clearly give a progressive edge to their brand of intense rock and metal. Keyboards are used wisely adding just the right amount of colour to the sound. Many of the songs start heavy then slow down to mid-tempo only to resume the intensity, but always flow smoothly from one section to the next. Some pieces add acoustic guitar and orchestrations to give the music more depth.

The album is off to a frantic start with the intense metal of "Non-Inception" and a Dream Theater-like beginning. The vocals are excellent and Morgan uses some well placed screams, bordering on growls, to add that extra intensity. The album's first single is "The Visitor" which begins with Mike Oldfield-like keys in a similar vein to the theme from the The Exorcist creating a haunting atmosphere that coincides with the beautiful artwork by Susan Van Sant, soon to be shattered by crunchy guitar rhythms. While the first few songs are good its the latter half where the band really shows their progressive edge. A couple of my favourites include the wonderful ballad "The Current" with a classy keyboard melody and orchestrated string samples that add lushness to the piece and "The Gauntlet", probably the most progressive song on the album with a nice orchestral arrangement.

This is a solid rock album with enough progressive moments to satiate fans of progressive rock. The future seems promising for Holloway. Lets hope they get the attention they deserve. Recommended.

Track listing:
1. Non-Inception
2. The Visitor
3. Plague Marks
4. In Dreamscapes of the Dead
5. City of Masks
6. The Current
7. Illusions
8. Teeth and Tongue
9. May My Actions Be Unseen
10. The Gauntlet
11. Torchlight

Added: December 6th 2009
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 2009
Language: english

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