Monday, February 1, 2016

Album Review: "Times of Pride and Peril" by Holy Grail

Time of Pride and Peril
Years ago, I was in a band.

Naturally I failed, but to call me a failed musician is like calling Philip J Fry a grad school drop out.

All those band practices were basically just a chance to hang out with one of my best friends who played bass and pretend that we had something.

We didn't, but we did get a song on the local college radio station where our "singer" was a DJ. So there's that.

We read all the musicians' magazines. Remember this was the mid 90's, so shredding was still popular.

I remember reading an article about translating what a musician says into what he really means. One in particular stuck out to me. "He plays fast, but with no emotion" translated to "I can't play fast." (If you hate highly skilled musicians and prefer more basic songs, check out King Mud from 1/28. It's more your speed.)

Holy Grail
This isn't going to be a defense of shredding post, after this short defense of shredding.

Growing up, Metallica was the be all end all for me. Top notch players going all out on every song, every album, all the time.

That's metal for you.

It's a competition and that's cool. Sometimes I just need to be wowed, but highly technical playing is nothing without even better songwriting to go with it.

Holy Grail's greatest triumph on Times of Pride and Peril is being able to take all these moving pieces and craft them into hard rocking, metal anthems. The vocals are traditional heavy metal, a little grit, a little tenor, and balls to the walls all the time.

The drums are amazing. It's easy to keep the pulse, it's hard to riff with the guitars and most bands done' have the horses to keep up with this pair of shred demons.

I'm going to spare you my guitar nerd gushing over every technique this hack player can recognize, but you should hear it. Suffice it to say, this band is full of highly technical riffs, out of this world guitar solos, and songwriting on par with Metallica in its heyday.

Holy Grail are the kind of band to take the torch of  traditional heavy metal and carry it into the future and beyond, until they pass it along to the next generation.

Release: 2/12/16
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: Prosthetic Records
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