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Banaau / Hollowscene - Hollowscene CD (album) cover


Banaau / Hollowscene


Symphonic Prog

3.80 | 32 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars This Italian project was founded in 1990 as Banaau by the duo Andrea Massimo (guitar) and Lino Cicala (keyboards), their work was inspired by literature from T.S. Elliot and E.A.Poe. The following years the band alternated between success and disappointments and finally disbanded. But in 2011 Andrea and Lino reunited and released the EP The Burial in 2015. Then they changed their name into Hollowscene and released the eponymous debut album on the known Italian prog label Black Widow Records in 2018. As a 7-piece formation, including two players on guitar, two on keyboard, a flute player, a drummer and a bass player with bass pedals.

After a few listening sessions I conclude that Hollowscene makes wonderful music, obviously Seventies Genesis inspired (especially the SEBTP and W&W albums) but also with hints from IQ (bombastic parts with howling electric guitar). The six own very melodic and harmonic compositions (ranging from 5.58 to 13.13) alternate between dreamy with soaring flute, tender piano and warm twanging acoustic guitars and bombastic with flashy synthesizer flights, lots of angelic Mellotron choirs and powerful Hammond organ . This is topped by many moving and sensitive electric guitar soli, often evoking Steve Hackett but also Mike Holmes. The compositions sound very pleasant with a tasteful colouring by guitars, keyboards and flutes.

The final track is the Gentle Giant cover The Moon Is Down (from the 1971 album Acquiring The Taste), Hollowscene has succeeded to give this song a beautiful own flavour, no brass but the emphasis on piano and flute. But now to the vocals: the English is decent but not only in this track but also in the other six compositions his voice lacks power, intensity and passion. As an instrument the vocals don't sound at the level of the other instruments, in a negative way. I wish he had sung in his native language, this would have matched way better with the wonderful and varied symphonic rock on this album.

My rating: 3,5 star.

The first edition of this review was recently published on Dutch prog website Background Magazine.

For more information about other, very interesting Italian prog band O.A.K. (not on PA) their splendid album Giordano Bruno (2018), see my social comment.

TenYearsAfter | 3/5 |


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