Review : HOLY GRAIL – "Crisis In Utopia"

Holy Grail – Crisis In Utopia
Release Date: 2010Oct25 (US)
Label: Prosthetic Records
Rating: 5/5

This is the first full-length release from Holy Grail (formerly known as Sorcerer), which is made up of three former members of White Wizzard—James Paul Luna (vocals), James J. LaRue (guitar) and Tyler Meahl (drums). They are joined by Eli Santana on guitar and Blake Mount on bass. Holy Grail is essentially a cocktail that contains equal parts Iron MaidenJudas Priest and Armored Saint, among others.

“My Last Attack” is fast with rail-gun drums, punishing guitar licks and a killer bass line. I can’t think of a better way to start off an album. The guitars of LaRue and Santana dominate “Call of Valhalla” with precision that rivals that of Dave Murray and Adrian Smith. Evidence of their influences is most apparent on “Crisis In Utopia”, a masterpiece that crams more NWOBHM into 4 minutes than other bands do in 74 minutes.  After an explosive first half, Holy Grail loses a bit of steam until “Hollow Ground”, which salvages the momentum with a balanced, melodic attack. This allows the vocals of James Paul Luna to shine. “Cherish Disdain” closes off this off on an epic bang.

White Wizzard’s loss is Holy Grail’s gain and I honestly prefer the latter over the former when it comes to NWOBHM worship. This is the heaviest album I’ve heard all year long. It’s just that fucking good!

FCC: Clean
Try: 13, 4, 9, 11

01. My Last Attack
02. Fight To Kill
03. Call of Valhalla
04. Crisis In Utopia
05. Immortal Man
06. Nocturne in D Minor
07. The Blackest Night
08. Chase The Wind
09. Hollow Ground
10. Requiem
11. Cherish Disdain

~Brad Barratt


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