Hoia - Scavenger

(CD 2019, 33:06, Private Release)

The tracks:
  1- Write Across(5:15)
  2- Escape Orb(10:10)
  3- Electric Wizard(6:35)
  4- Electric Wizard, Pt. 2(3:49)
  5- Scavenger(7:14)

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What a pleasant surprise this one is. A few months ago this mini album from Prateek Rajagopal's project Hoia reached me through the Background (writers) mail.
I know there is more excellent music coming from India like Skyharbor for instance.

Assisted by the well-known and praised Bass player Colin Edwin and session drummer Wojtek Deregowski it's nearly impossible to go wrong.
First I want to say that the production sounds great. It's well balanced and fits the musical profile; prog rock/metal.
Wrapped in a nice digipack Prateek brings you 5 tracks.
Write Across immediately brings a mysterious tension to your ears. Starting with an electronic pulsating hum of synths to get you into a hypnotising sequence of gentle guitar and slightly distorted chanting. Excellent fills by Mr. Deregowski make it whole. Is it an interlude to the 10+ minute Escape Orb? It continues in the same fashion and leads you through a Porcupine Tree styled musical landscape which can be determined by the unmistakable bass style of Colin Edwin. Maybe a bit more prominent on the keys? But that is probably more to my own taste. Electric Wizard makes that up for a while. Many prog singers use the effect (phasing/flanging) on their voice that makes the vocals swirl around and cover the real tone of it. It adds a dark feel in this track. Part II is a nice instrumental track that can also be seen as an interlude to the dark closing track Scavenger. It carries on the same atmosphere as the previous songs.

All in all a dark sounding prog album that breathes Porcupine Tree for the most parts. And Prateek does that well! Of course flanked by great musicians.
If you like the heavier side of prog/Djent, I can also recommend The Minerva Conduct. Just give it a listen and you'll hear what this man has up his sleeve.

**** Erik van Os (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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