SCARLET HOLLOW – What If Never Was (2012)

SCARLET HOLLOW - What If Never Was (2012)


As I find myself exploring the various genres of music I keep coming back to progressive metal as the source of incredibly talented music.

Although SCARLET HOLLOW’s full length debut “What if Never Was” adds some other musical colors to their palette such as Celtic elements and a bit of folk-prog, this female fronted SoCal band basically delivers progressive metal, stylized and melodic.

“What if Never Was” includes 10 individual songs that completely stand on their own, but the first 9 are part of a larger picture that tell the tale of a person’s spiritual and emotional journey as they try to heal from the after effects of war. So if you like tales you can follow it, if not, the compositions can be enjoyed in its own.

“The Path,” starts the melodic rush. The startling, and intensely passionate echoes of lead vocalist and lyricist Allison Vonbuelow’s tone harmonize wonderfully with the electric guitar, drums and synths.

The guitars in this album are absolutely brilliant, there are some riffs and licks that will have you rewinding the track over and over again. The drumming is exceedingly complex at various times, notably during the long hypnotic guitar solos. Check this specially in the fifth track “The Waiting”, a testament to the talent found within Scarlet Hollow.

“Thermal Winds” with its imagery is a perfect cut for adult rock radio. The sound is mellow, heavy and delicate at the same time. The second part of “Around the Bend” adds some awesome sonic landscapes with Spanish guitars blended with a terrific electric solo and tribal drumming.

“The Waiting” is a hybrid of sorts with its flowing production. Vonbuelow connects with the music and lyrics in a way that is refreshing, and will ensure the listener feel the effects of the journey that Scarlet Hollow wants to invoke.

“As The Blade Falls” is modern metal sounding as Scarlet Hollow taps into the beauty of rock and the many levels that it offers to fans of this kind of music. The CD closes with “Nightfall Overture”, a morbid kind of thing that glides across the ears with its Norse and Celtic descriptions.

Scarlet Hollow has found its nesting place among many Prog Metal bands including other sonic elements to enrich their musical delivery, which never is too heavy, just quite melodic.

On “What If Never Was” you will find classic ’70s prog rock, hard rock and some Celtic folk sounds alongside the typical Prog-Metal overtones.

Scarlet Hollow features a super high level of musicianship but never at the expense of emotion or the music. It sounds new and fresh, but at the same time familiar.

“What if Never Was” is an impressive debut from a band offering a different flavor to a genre that is mutating trying to reach other audiences.

Very good. Recommended.

01 – The Path

02 – Apathy’s Child

03 – Thermal Winds

04 – Around the Bend

05 – The Waiting

06 – Behind the Lines

07 – All That Remains

08 – As the Blade Falls

09 – 20:20

10 – Nightfall Overture

Allison VonBuelow: Vocals, Acoustic Guitars

Gregg Olson: Guitars, Synths, Percussion Programing

Jeff Mack: Bass, Bass Pedals

Diego “GROM” Meraviglia: Drums, Percussion


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