Holler – Reborn (Scarlet Records)

Wednesday, 20th March 2024
Rating: 8.5 / 10

Singer/ songwriter Terence Holler is probably best known through the metal community for his 31-year stint in the outfit he co-founded Eldritch – a power/progressive metal outfit of which classic albums like El Niño all the way through 2021’s EoS thrilled this scribe to no end. Leaving in 2022, this solo venture Holler explores more of his classic rock, AOR, and 70s/80s influences for this debut album Reborn. The results are quite inspiring, especially for those who seek broader horizons for the musicians that they love and cherish over the years.

A reflective nature sweeps over the atmosphere of these thirteen songs – a melodic sensibility where the guitar lines and keyboards take on an AOR, classic rock angle when artists like Journey, Toto, Billy Joel, and Bon Jovi were dominating the radio airwaves. Right out of the gate “Do You Believe” has this alluring calmness to start the album off right, while the swirling keyboards of Matteo Chimenti soon give chase to vibrant, uplifting guitars from Denis Chimenti with the proper bass/drum groove charge courtesy of Leonardo Peruzzi and Alex Gasperini for early favorite “Music Is the One”. Cyber/EDM aspects next to rhythm claps appear in the softer ballad “Those Eyes”, where Terence really grabs the key verse / chorus moments to showcase his versatility as an emotionally captivating vocalist. On other occasions the musicians of Holler get a chance to showcase a bit of their musical interplay abilities, adding some funk/jazz sections a la Toto in the 80s to make “Falling Apart” very engaging, beyond its memorable melodies or soothing background vocals. What may seem simple can be quite difficult to achieve in this style – you need the best musicians who can grasp feel beyond the times when to lay back and let others shine, and that occurs frequently throughout standout tracks like “Invisible Man” or the mystical “Within Me”.

Love has been a relevant topic since the dawn of time – filtered through Terence’s decades of life, Reborn is a thoughtful record that pushes his love for classic rock / AOR and those singer/songwriters in younger days that shaped his outlook as a musician. Holler hopefully keeps going, because even as a non-metal entity, the quality of songwriting, performances, and chemistry between the five-piece is worthy of more exploration (and more records).

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