HALLOWED & HOLLOW     by A COVENANT OF THORNS Posted: 11.25.2002 11425 Views
1. Love Crooked Love
2. Empty Exorcism
3. Tears & Roses
7. Drive Me Home
11. Never Fade Away
A Handful Of Nothing Reco
A COVENANT OF THORNS
HALLOWED & HOLLOW
Scott David Allen is the brains behind this DAM CD & if it's emotional electronic music you're looking for you've come to the right place.Mostly eschewing any dancefloor status the uniformly excellent tracks prove themselves ideal for deep listening as Allen's aural magic casts it's spell time & time again.
The dark & suggestive cover art as well as the use of titles like "Tears & Roses" might lead one to expect a strong gothic/romantic/darkwave feel to prevail & although the reliance on electronics means that this is not the case for the most part the accoustic sounding drums on the more up-tempo "Purgatory" & the general feel of "Empty Exorcism" definately remind me of the Italian band The Frozen Autumn. The latter track especially makes me think that although there aren't any guitars here it certainly feels like they wouldn't be out of place.
The opening "Love Crooked Love" is, in many respects, a microcosm of what the album as a whole is about, being dark, emotional & perfectly in harmony with the excellent vocals, which are in themselves another plus point. It's hard to avoid the feeling that had they been just a little lacking they could have ruined things totally so it's all to the good that the warmth of "Forever" & the genuine emotion of "Deep" are brought more completely to life by his melodic tuneful voice.
Unusually for vocal music the excellent melodics prove capable of painting pictures in the mind's eye of the listener & while "Necropolis" is quite a sombre affair it's far from being the mournful dirge I expected, given the title.On a similar level the running water that backs the solo piano-based "Home" is staple fare of countless 'new age' albums although the sprinkling of delicate synth strings do provide the desired impact & save the track from any such soporific leanings.The closing "Never Fade Away" foregoes any rhythmic influences totally, allowing the almost floating music to work in unison with the listener's own emotions & experiences with another superb vocal delivery taking centre stage once again.
Somehow with such lovingly crafted music the term 'synthpop' is totally inapporpriate & while I was reminded of Color Theory at times (mainly in the suprisingly upbeat "Drive Me Home") A Covenant Of Thorns bring to life the whole spectrum of human emotions & is the perfect answer to those fools who believe synth music is cold & unemotional; just play them this album & watch them eat every one of their ill-considered words!!