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Mars Hollow - World In Front Of Me CD (album) cover

WORLD IN FRONT OF ME

Mars Hollow

 

Crossover Prog

3.69 | 72 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The 2010 debut effort from Mars Hollow was considered one of the year's best by many prog rock fans, and now (just a year later) they're back with their sophomore album. With its fantastic compositions, terrific musicianship, and sleek modern sound, World in Front of Me will undoubtedly send shockwaves through the prog rock community once again. Fans of seventies-influenced prog rock that aren't hesitant to the newer generation of symphonic prog should find plenty to love here. Mars Hollow has proven their worth with this outstanding album; this is surely among the best releases I've heard this year.

Mars Hollow plays a style of symphonic prog with influences from Spock's Beard, Yes, and especially Kansas. Right from the very beginning of "Walk on Alone" it's clear that Mars Hollow has given classics like Leftoverture and Close to the Edge more than a few spins. Mars Hollow does wear their influences on their sleeves, but I wouldn't necessarily consider that a detriment when one considers how spectacular every aspect of the music itself is. For one, the musicianship is excellent across the board. The lush keyboard work from Steve Mauk, the excellent guitar playing from John Baker, the Chris Squire-esque bass playing from Kerry Chicoine, and Jerry Beller's top-notch drumwork all make for an excellent-sounding group. The vocal department of Mars Hollow is also excellent; every band member contributes their pipes here, creating some great vocal harmonies that hint towards the likes of Spock's Beard or The Flower Kings.

World in Front of Me was produced by Billy Sherwood and mastered by David Javu Morse, so expect an extremely professional-sounding album. The bass playing from Kerry Chicoine is extremely commanding (as it should be) and the keyboards and vocals are mixed perfectly. The overall sound comes across as a bit thin to me (especially in the drum department), but it should still undoubtedly please most prog fans.

It seems that Mars Hollow have crafted another winner with their sophomore album; World in Front of Me should make many "best of 2011" lists and keep progressive rock fans satisfied for years to come. These guys are becoming one of the biggest forces in the modern prog rock scene, and World in Front of Me is a defining statement that every fan of the genre should further investigate. If you like your prog rock to be extremely complex and seventies-oriented, yet still fresh and accessible, this is an essential purchase. 4 stars are well deserved for this terrific album. 10T Records has definitely chalked up another winner!

J-Man | 4/5 |

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