|Review: Soulspell - Hollow's Gathering|
Label: Inner Wound Recordings
Year released: 2012
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: January 1, 2013
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
The third installment from Heleno Vale's grandiose venture, the impressive Soulspell, succeeds mainly in pushing the drummer's vision into darker and more compelling places, reminding us why this is one of the best kept secrets in the metal opera sub-genre. Hollow's Gathering features another spellbinding set of musicians and singers, this time including ex-Maiden frontman Blaze Bayley, the ever-present Ripper Owens, ex-Malmsteen man Michael Viscera, the uber-talented Amanda Sommerville, and Theocracy's Matt Smith. The vocalists have a wide range of musical backdrops over which they strut their stuff; from gothic pianos to double-kicked fantasy workouts, Soulspell covers the whole spectrum of melodic metal, from Prog to Power, wrapping its contents up in a fierce, modern sound..
While the second chapter sounded like Angra on crack, this third piece plays around with the basic blueprint of Brazilian power metal and fuses it with the grandiosity of projects like Avantasia and Genius, twisting a sublime set of dark wings around it to make songs like "The Keeper's Game" and "Adrian's Call" powerfully seductive. Not as intense as Vale's previous work, "Hollow's Gathering" might appear too impenetrable at first, but frequent listens open its treasure chest wide.
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