Hollenthon - _Opus Magnum_
(Napalm Records, 2008)
by: Quentin Kalis (8.5 out of 10)
It has been seven long years since the last Hollenthon opus, but they can be forgiven for the extended hiatus: founder Martin Shirenc had been busy in the reformed and now split up (again) Pungent Stench, whose material is completely different from, but equal in quality to that of Hollenthon.

There is little deviation from their previous two classics, but they have a unique sound and a winning formula, so why fix what ain't broke? The combination of metal with samples of choirs and symphonics are the definitive aspects of Hollenthon's sound. Arguably, they are heavier and darker on this release, and unlike previous albums, which borrowed from Prokofiev amongst others, I did not recognise any of the classical samples, suggesting Shirenc is borrowing from lesser known composers. Folk and Middle Eastern melodies also surface, as does the voice of Shirenc's wife, Elena.

There is not much else that need be said; Hollenthon's approach has been a breath of fresh air in a universe populated by way too much derivative rubbish, and if his previous two albums are familiar, there will thankfully be no surprises.

Contact: http://www.hollenthon.com

(article published 2/7/2008)

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