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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Holloway

Illusions

Review by Gary Hill

This rocker is a great example of something that almost fits into every category the site has. Parts of this are metal – no question about it. And the majority of the disc isn’t far from metal. Some portions are progressive rock, too – in fact, a good amount of the CD could fit that category. The truth is, though, I wouldn’t really fit it under either of those headings. But I would call it a strong disc. It’s dark and brooding, but also has some spectacular soundscapes. I like it a lot. Although there is a certain similarity to a lot of the music here they change it up enough that it never seems redundant or monolithic at all.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Non-Inception

The opening segment is fast paced and furious. It's almost a pure cross between metal and progressive rock. They drop it down to more of a metal approach for the vocal section. That said, it's more of a nu-metal meets techno sound. There are literally some screaming parts. There are some moments with some delicate vocals flying gently over some fierce rock. They scream out with a technical metal abandon at times, too.

The Visitor
Another alternative rocker, this is cool. It’s got a lot less prog in the mix, but it really rocks out. In some ways I like this one more than the opener, but it’s also less metallic.
Plague Marks
This one has more of a contrast between the mellow and heavy sections. It’s a good tune, but not all that different from that which has come before. Still, nothing’s feeling boring or redundant.
In Dreamscapes of the Dead
There’s a ballad-like section that leads this off. It’s definitely more proggy and one of the more dynamic cuts on the set. I’d also consider this a highlight of the disc. I like it a lot. 
City of Masks
This is arguably the most prog like cut on the disc. A keyboard dominated introduction leads it in and they drop it back to mellower territory for the verses. 
The Current
Another mellower piece, if the whole disc were like this and the previous track, this would fit into the category of moody progressive rock. There is a killer symphonic rock segment later in the piece.
Illusions
The title track, this is one of the most metallic numbers here. In fact, I’d say it’s a progressive metal track – with the emphasis on both parts, there. It is quite prog, but there’s a little more metal than progressive rock in this beast. 
Teeth & Tongue
Mix moody alternative rock with progressive metal and you’ll be in the general territory where this beast lives. It’s another good tune, but not a standout by any means.
May My Actions Be Unseen
Another hard rocker this one’s got some metal moments, but it’s not really a metal song from my thinking. It’s definitely not prog either, though. Instead, I’d think of this as a killer modern alternative rocker.
The Gauntlet
There are definitely aspects of this cut that would fall into progressive rock, but overall this is really a metal number. It does have a killer, rather freeform jam mid-track. It is a fairly epic track – at least in terms of length, weighing in at almost nine and a half minutes.
Torchlight
They close the disc with a rather progressive rock styled ballad. I normally don’t recommend closing with a slow and sedate piece, but somehow it works here.
 
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