|Musical Style: Melodic Metal||Produced By: Kimmo Ahola & Hallowed|
|Record Label: Little Rose||Country Of Origin: Finland|
|Year Released: 2000||Artist Website:|
|Tracks: 5||Rating: 75%|
|Running Time: 20:29|
Originally forming in Finland in 1997 under the name Valo (Finnish for light), the melodic metal band Hallowed placed two tracks on the From Kaamos To Midnight compilation before finalizing its line up with the addition of vocalist Michael Majalahti in 1999. Releasing its five song debut EP End Of The Age a year later, Hallowed goes after an energetic eighties influenced melodic metal sound with power metal tendencies. Majalahti, of all things, used to be a professional wrestler. (Any of you wrestling fans out there remember Michael Wildside?) But unlike Hulk Hogan, this guy can actually sing- and quite well at that! Majalahti - who lists Vince Neil as a musical influence and takes his wrestling moniker from the title of a Motley Crue song - brings a very fine mid-octave ranged voice to the project. Samuel Hoisko does an impressive job contributing the albums lead guitar work and forms a solid guitar team with rhythm guitarist Mikko Tuliniemi. Drummer Timo Peltangas and bassist Jami Pohjoismaki round out the rhythm section, while Markus Ketonen effectively accentuates the bands sound on keyboards.
End Of The Age showcases a crystal clear production job allowing for a near flawless mix of drums, lead guitar and keyboards to back a crisp rhythm guitar sound. The bass guitar, not always standing out in the mix as it should, is the only area of improvement worth noting.
Opening to a bit of guitar feedback, "End Of The Age" moves forward to a combination of rhythm guitar and keyboards before the keyboards drop from the mix at the start of its first verse. Subsequent to picking up in pace to Peltangas' rapid double bass, the song proceeds directly to a sweeping chorus with an epic feel. An explosion and a bass guitar solo opens an instrumental passage culminating with thirty seconds of fiery lead guitar work. "End Of The Age" talks about exactly that:
I can see the signs
Up in the sky
Stars are falling
The moon turns to blood
There's no future
In this sorrow
At the end of the days
The end of the age
"The Challenge" begins in upbeat fashion to a blend of rhythm guitar and keyboards before moving through its first and second verse in a guitar driven manner. Gaining momentum to an abundance of double bass, "The Challenge" culminates upon attaining a strong melodic flavored chorus. The song closes out its last minute to a keyboard solo which gives way to Hoisko's excellent classical influenced lead guitar work.
A piano slowly holds sway over the power ballad "The Chosen One" during its first verse before the rhythm guitar drives it ahead at the start of the second. Abruptly picking up in pace for a powerfully delivered chorus, the song advances on an instrumental passage in which Hoisko adds several seconds very well done lead guitar work. "The Chosen One" touches upon the issues of spiritual warfare and trials and tribulations:
Your fire brings me healing
As it takes away my pain
You let me know my life is not in vain
Through years of hurt and torment
I was forged alike the sword
And now my steel is brandished
To withstand the hardest war
Introduced to a drum solo and a driving riff, the momentous "Jesus Christ" advances through its verse portions at an anthemic upbeat tempo as Majalahti details the person of Christ:
Look in awe, bow and kneel at His glory
Wondrous, omniscient, dying for me
On the cross, crucified, He is no more
King of Kings, Lord of Lords, High Jehovah
Living God, Morning Star, my Creator
Every tongue must confess that He is Lord
After the song reaches its worshipful chorus, Majalahti continually repeats the phrase "Hallellu-hallellu-hallellujah" before Hoisko cuts loose with a blistering guitar solo. The subject matter to "Jesus Christ" could not be summed up any better than in the following line from its chorus:
All praise and honor
To You my Lord
You gained the victory
Through Your death on the cross
Standing out as the albums heaviest track, “New Millennium” commences to a bass guitar solo before a crunchy rhythm guitar reinforced by double bass carries it forward. The rhythm guitar takes a backseat in mix as "New Millennium" attains its fast paced chorus only to return in time to back Hoisko's mean sounding guitar solo.
At only five songs and twenty minutes End Of The Age is on the short side. That being said, the material here is of such high quality I find it disappointing that Hallowed could not have come up with four or five additional tracks.
Following the release of End Of The Age, Hallowed recorded a demo entitled Fear And Pain. While I have not had the opportunity to hear the demo, reviews point to the fact its material is even better than that on End Of The Age. (Fear And Pain is not commercially available at the time of this writing.) In the end, Hallowed called it quits with guitarists Samual Hoisko and Mikko Tuliniemi and drummer Timo Peltokangas moving on to join the Finnish hard rock band Random Eyes.
Review by: Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: "End Of The Age" (4:04), "The Challenge" (4:03), "The Chosen One" (4:18), "Jesus Christ" (4:44), "New Millennium" (3:19)
Michael Majalahti –Lead Vocals
Samuel Hoisko – Guitars
Mikko Tuliniemi – Guitars
Markus Ketonen - Keyboards
Jami Pohjoismaki – Bass
Timo Peltokangas - Drums
Also Reviewed: Random Eyes - Eyes Ablaze