I always find it remarkable, quite amazing actually, when I find or hear of American band playing traditional heavy metal. Holy Grail from Southern California is one of those bands. Though the genre is basically shit upon in America and reminds underground, Holy Grail first appeared on my radar with 2010's Crisis In Utopia. They return with their third long player, Times Of Pride And Peril.
For their heavy metal, the band basically blends traditional American power speed metal with New of British Heavy Meta. Twin guitar harmony, clean vocals, speedy rhythm section, and ripping lead guitar solos are the fundamentals for Holy Grail. At the same time, following the "true metal" tradition everything is wrapped up a proper amount heavy groove. Essentially, this is what Holy Grail has been doing from the start. I found the guitar work to smart and satisfying. they have a notable sharpness and undeniable presence with a good examples in Pro Partia Mori, No More Heroes and Waste Them All Away. (The latter song is also a fine example of exceptional drum work across this album from Tyler Meahl, also the drummer for Huntress.) The real monster song for guitar riffs and shredding is the closing Black Lotus. At nearly ten minutes, it's filled with twin guitar fret fireworks. (It's also the only song that has death vocals, in the closing minutes. It's really harsh. Ugh. One final comment: vocalist James-Paul Luna sings clean, yet has this slight touch of screech and screamo to his presentation. And he reminds me of another vocalist, and for the longest time I couldn't put a finger on who. But it's come to me. A young Scott Wenzel from the Eighties metal band Whitecross. Fundamentally, excepting the slight experimentation with death vocals, Holy Grail's Times Of Pride And Peril is another solid and strong effort of traditional heavy metal from America.
Excepting the slight experimentation with death vocals, Holy Grail's Times Of Pride And Peril is another solid and strong effort of traditional heavy metal from America.
You might be surprised when I say that some weeks the music I consider for review is so predictable to be merely mundane. And then I have to find words to say about it. I'm not necessarily looking for something ... [ Read More ]