'Tis the season for Metal! Southern California's shred masters Holy Grail, after hitting the road hard with the likes of Toxic Holocaust, Amon Amarth, Blind Guardian and Exodus, they have released a Xmas 7" just in time to stuff your stocking!
Just in case you haven't heard, these guys have released two other critically acclaimed albums: 2009's "Improper Burial" EP and last year's epic "Crisis In Utopia" LP; this little disc marks the first time ex-Bonded By Blood axe man Alex Lee has recorded in the studio with the band.
This album is obviously a "warm up" for the band to come together and get into recording mode, because word has it, they will be working on their new album here soon.
The 7" offers two cover songs, King Diamond's "No Presents For Christmas" which is a blistering 4 minutes of speed, surpassing even Diamond's original in metal intensity.
The intro is different; whereas Diamond's is a clean rendition of "Jingle Bells", which gave it an A.M. Gold type feel to it before launching into his trademark darkness (which was pretty sweet for the psychological effect it produced), Holy Grail opted to play Tchaikovsky's "March Of The Toy Soldiers"...which just happens to be one of my preferred songs of the season...talk about coincidences!
On the flipside we have Rainbow's "Kill The King" and Holy Grail gives my all time favorite Rainbow song their unique touch and make it almost seem like a thrash classic of old! Now, for a singer, Dio and Diamond are tough acts to follow, but the vocal range on both songs is impressive!
The 7" is limited edition only (250 red and 250 green...hey it is Christmas time after all!), however the digital download of the album includes two more covers: Priest's "Exciter" and Accept's "Fast As A Shark"...kinda wish they coulda crammed all four onto a larger vinyl! I mean, what a choice! On one hand you have a soon to be collector's item and the other, perhaps tracks which may be rare from a band that may just very well become as much of a legend as any of the bands they cover. Either way you're gettin' a solid deal.
All in all, great little offering, cover artwork is insane and the songs rip! This album would make a fairly sweet addition to any metal fan's music collection, because Holy Grail is as metal as a lump of titanium...one of the newer bands who are true to the core essence of metal!
Have a listen to the track "My Last Attack" off of their Crisis In Utopia Album now!