It’s been the best part of three years since US metallers Holy Grail released their critically acclaimed debut, Crisis in Utopia. A number of line-up changes aside, they’ve continuously worked hard and played harder, touring and writing to produce follow up album Ride The Void.
I remember supporting Holy Grail in Glasgow with my then band and found them a superb live outfit with a real old school influenced power metal style. Listening to Ride The Void just brings back happy memories of that gig to me and of how solid an outfit Holy Grail are.
Kicking off with an atmospheric choral intro with Archeus, the band launch into a power metal tour de force with Bestia Triumphans that has undertones of evil running throughout. All the while James Paul Luna’s melodic tones sing out, changing to roars as and when necessary. Dark Passenger follows on at a gallop with a Maiden-esque style that has all the markings of a crowd favourite when played live.
It’s good knowing a band can also change tact and show different shades to their personality and Bleeding Stone takes on a far heavier feel, almost Slayer like in places. Granted, it pulls closer to the power metal style of Bestia Triumphans but there’s less of the pace and far more power in this one while still maintaining that melodic style that Holy Grail seem to achieve effortlessly.
The title track itself is a fine piece of melodic speed metal that charges on at a pace to its conclusion. It’s anthemic, it’s widdly-guitar-tastic, it’s a real head banging, horns in the air track. Truly worthy of being the title track and indeed probably my favourite on the album too.
…and the album just powers on and on from there. Be it the rocking speed of Too Decayed to Wait, the thrashing Crosswinds that has a delicious groove to it (hmmm… maybe THIS is my favourite on the album!) or the staccato rhythm of the likes of Silence the Scream that blends into the power of The Great Artifice, every track has a melodic central core backed with shades of thrash or power or just good old fashioned heavy metal vibes running throughout it.
The album maintains its high standard through to the finish with the delicate acoustic intro of Wake Me When It’s Over leading into its final track, Rains of Sorrow. An anthemic and atmospheric power ballad that brings the album to a fitting close.
It’s not hard to like a band or an album when it’s as easy to listen to as this one. For any fan of heavy metal, this latest release from Holy Grail will indeed be music to their ears.
Ride the Void will be available from 21st January through Nuclear Blast.
2. Bestia Triumphans
3. Dark Passenger
4. Bleeding Stone
5. Ride The Void
6. Too Decayed To Wait
8. Take It To The Grave
9. Sleep Of Virtue
10. Silence The Scream
11. The Great Artifice
12. Wake Me When It’s Over
13. Rains Of Sorrow
HOLY GRAIL are:
James Paul Luna – Vocals
Alex Lee – Guitar
Eli Santana – Guitar
Blake Mount – Bass
Tyler Meahl – Drums