Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Holy Grail: Ride the Void

Hmmm.  I remember really enjoying Holy Grail's last album.  But upon hearing this one, I can not really remember much about it.  Easily fixed of course, I just need to go back and listen to it.  This one though does not really do all that much for me and I think I know why.

I actually liked a lot of metalcore bands back when that trend had really gotten going.  I liked Lamb of God, Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage, Trivium, and other bands from that scene.  I even kind of liked Avenged Sevenfold at one point.  Here me out.  I had not really gotten into black and death metal yet and my knowledge of metal was mostly mainstream.  I don't make any excuses about that.  Nu metal and metalcore were big and I had not delved terribly deeply into the underground.  I had only a burned copy of Avenged Sevenfold's Waking the Fallen and I kind of liked it.  Some time later I heard City of Evil for the first time and I hated that one and that did it for me with Avenged Sevenfold.  I have never looked back at them.

Now why did I spend an entire paragraph talking about Avenged Sevenfold?  Because Holy Grail singer James Paul Luna sounds an awful lot like Zacky Vengeance on this album, and in particular the second song.  It is so close that it absolutely ruined the first time I heard this album.  It's bad.  I have listened to this album several times now and that is always the first thing I think.  "This reminds me of Avenged Sevenfold" is not the best thought when listening to an album.

Musically of course there is almost no similarity.  Holy Grail is a traditional heavy metal band with speed metal riffs and melodies.  The music is actually quite good.  But man, those vocals really threaten to ruin it all.

I hope some day to be able to block that similarity out of my mind, but so far it keeps coming back.  It makes it real damn hard to listen to.

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