It seems Hollow Haze has decided on what they want to be. When reviewing 2008's The Hanged Man, I suggest that they need to decide if they want to be a strict heavier metal band or a more melodic metal band with some progressive nods. It seems with Poison in Black they've opted for the latter.
Actually, Hollow Haze is sounding more like a symphonic Cage, that is strong heavier metal with large amounts of orchestral synths. While not sounding like Sean Peck, Alex "Ramon" Sonato is largely relentless in his approach; his approach is pretty much head on scream-singing with little variation.
Yet, his vocal style is also somewhat quizzical sounding like a strange amalgam of Dio, Dickinson, Halford, and Tony Martin. They latter comes through on their cover of the Martin-era Black Sabbath's Headless Cross (which isn't very good, by the way). Sonato is better when he sticks to his boundaries, staying to the middle of his range. Otherwise, when attempting the higher notes he's only straining.
Nevertheless, Poison in Black is a strong platter of heavier traditional and power metal. The large synth layers only add to the immensity and intensity of most songs. The album charges along with only moments of restraint in the intros or segues. Nick Savio rips up the fret board in true metal style. For purists, there's no slow numbers or ballads here. Best picks: Lords of the World, Hit in Time, and Tears of Pain. If you like your heavy metal, traditional but hard-charging and powerful, without neglecting melody, I think you'll like Hollow Haze's Poison in Black.Tweet