Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Holy Grail - Ride The Void (2013)

Since the release of the EP "Improper Burial" in 2009, I have been a real fan boy over Holy Grail. Their mix of traditional heavy metal, power and modern influences is just astonishing. And even though their first full-length album "Crisis In Utopia" did not deliver all the way I was still excited about this new release entitled "Ride The Void", a album that the band proclaimed to be darker and more metal influenced. Already a pretty good sign that this album would be great.

Now two songs from "Ride The Void" have already been presented and lyric videos have been made for both of them. The songs are the title track and "Dark Passenger". Out of the two I would say that "Dark Passenger" is the worse of the two because the riff is way too simple and it feels like the band is not unleashing their full potential here. Still a hooky song that I approve of even though too many listening sessions can make this song boring. The title track is a completely different story. The song is modern, epic and has great riffing and singing (James-Paul Luna is really on top this time around). So the band definitely set the bar high for themselves before the release of the album.

The album itself starts out with a pretty short instrumental piece called "Archeus" that eventually leads us to the first real song "Bestia Triumphans", A good and innovative song that has that mix of traditional and modern heavy metal that made Holy Grail to who they are today. And the solo is long but it does not become good until the second half of it. The first half is pretty sluggish. We also have "Bleeding Stone", a song that is showing the same weaknesses as many songs in "Crisis In Utopia" did. It is groovy and so but it feels like the band is holding something back or leaving out a part that should be in. If it is speed, a riff or something else I do not know but it is not a feeling that I want to have when I listen to music. I want to feel that the band went 100%  into every song, riff, beat and word. Thankfully, this is the only song I feel that the band only went around 80% on. The rest of the songs have a fully committed Holy Grail.

Out of the remaining songs there is 4 that is keeping my interest at its peak. "Too Decayed To Wait" is the power charger with its double bass and fast riffing but it still got some melody which is nice. "Crosswinds" is the most modern song in the album and it is a great song with fantastic melody and overall superb instrumental qualities. A song that you can not sit down to while you are listening. "Take It To The Grave" is probably the grooviest song on the album and with that beat it is impossible not to rock your head back and forth. And the last chorus of that song always gives me goosebumps. Just plainly awesome. Lastly we have "Rains of Sorrow", a smooth and soothing song that ends the album. A song that shows that the band also can handle the calmer version of metal and it also bring some variation to the album.

"Ride The Void" was everything that I hoped to be. True f***ing heavy metal without any complications or cheesiness. It is metal all the way baby. Holy Grail have made a fantastic album with power, melodies and catchy choruses that makes you just stand up and make a mosh pit. Besides from "Bleeding Stone" there is no song that is particularly weak. And even though "Ride The Void" is not completely perfect it is sure that it will be a album that I will bang my head to for a long time.

Songs worthy of recognition: Ride The Void, Crosswinds, Bestia Triumphans, Take It To The Grave, Rains of Sorrow

Rating: 9,5/10 Dark Passengers

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