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CD REVIEW: HOLY GRAIL – Times Of Pride And Peril

| 16 February 2016 | Reply


Label: Prosthetic Records

Release Date: February 12, 2016

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

A lot of bands these days are leaning on a classic rock sound and attempting to put their own twist on it.  One of the latest bands to take this approach – and succeed – is Holy Grail.  This five-some recently dropped their latest release and this is a cool mashup of classic and modern rock with tons of great vocals and riffs.  Disc opener “Crystal King” unfolds slowly, but is soon a whirling storm of guitars, bass, and drums that come at you fast and furious through the speakers, gaining in intensity when singer James-Paul Luna unleashes melodically charged metal vocals.  “Waste Them All Away” opens with an awesome display of tribal rhythms and skin bashing, compliments of band drummer Tyler Meahl.  Soon guitars are swirling in the mix, as is a heavy handed bass and more killer vocals.  “Those Who Will Remain” brings the guitars to the forefront, as they chug easily during the verse, but take on a life of their own during the chorus and bridge.  Eli Santana and Alex Lee blend their sound nicely, complimenting each other and creating a unified guitar sound that carries throughout the disc.  “Apotheosis” is a bottom heavy rocker that benefits from Blake Mount’s four string thrashing.  The vocals add depth to the track and keep the vibe intact, while the sound and tuning of the guitars give the song a different feel.  This is one of my personal favorites on the disc.  “No More Heroes” features a killer riff in the intro that grows through and into the verse.  The tempo of this track gets the foot tapping and the head banging from open to close and keeps the flow of the disc solid and consistent.

“Sudden Death” features breakneck speed drums along with a chugging riff that clicks along with the drums. Mount’s bass line that anchors the verse is solid and helps control the pace of the track.  “Descent Into The Maelstrom” is a straight ahead modern rocker that gives us aggressive drums from Meahl that blend perfectly with the bass and the twin guitar attack of Lee and Santana.  The vocals build the mood of the track and give the song a different vibe at the bridge, with Luna’s ad libs overtop the intro of the solo.  “Psychomachia” is a muscular track that opens like it is built for the mosh pit, but quickly morphs into a solid rocker that has a droning and trudging bottom end during the verse.  “Pro Patria Mori” starts off with a different groove, thanks to the guitars time changes and sound.  The dual sound to the solo during the intro creates a cool mood for the track.  Luna’s vocals on this song add texture to what could easily be a guitar-driven instrumental.  Disc closer “Black Lotus” is the longest track on the collection, clocking in at more than nine minutes.  The guitars lead the charge on this song, but the rhythm section cannot be discarded.  The tempo changes are controlled by the drums and bass pounding underneath the searing leads and solidly delivered vocals that seem to soar above the mix when Luna reaches for some notes in the higher end of his register.  Of the tracks on this disc, I can’t think of a better way to close out than this track.

​Tracklisting: Crystal King – Waste Them All Away – Sudden Death – Those Who Will Remain – Descent Into The Maelstrom – Apotheosis – Psychomachia – No More Heroes – Pro Patria Mori – Black Lotus






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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