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Holy Grail - "Crisis In Utopia" (CD)

Holy Grail - "Crisis In Utopia" CD cover image

"Crisis In Utopia" track listing:

1. My Last Attack
2. Fight To Kill
3. Call Of Valhalla
4. Crisis In Utopia
5. Immortal Man
6. Nocturne In D Minor
7. The Blackest Night
8. Chase The Wind
9. Hollow Ground
10. Requiem
11. Cherish Disdain

Reviewed by on April 29, 2012

"Thrash fans will love the riffs and energy, power metal fans will eat up the lightspeed solos and classic metal fans will love the soaring and screaming vocals."

Holy Grail's "Crisis In Utopia" occupies a sweet spot exactly in the middle between classic, power and thrash metal styles. It's a potent blend of soaring vocals, mind-bendingly technical guitar solos and riffs that rage and thunder.

Take, for example, "Fight To Kill," which blends a speedy thrash riff with a Halfordian screams from frontman James-Paul Luna, before entering Iron Maiden territory with a powerful chorus, before heading into a fleet-fingered guitar solo.

Complementing Luna's expert vocals is some superlative guitar work by Eli Santana and James LaRue (who has since left the band). Whether it's the gentle beauty of "Nocturne In D Minor," the almost bluesy swagger of "Call Of Valhalla" and "Requiem" or the thrashy speed of stuff like "Immortal Man," the two ax-men never fail to impress. The band definitely knows how to end an album right, with the heaviest track, "Cherish Disdain" closing things out in style — complete with some death metal screams to liven up the otherwise almost completely melodious proceedings.

The one track that falls short is the somewhat lurching "The Blackest Night," which never completely ignites, despite a powerful vocal performance by Luna.

Thrash fans will love the riffs and energy, power metal fans will eat up the lightspeed solos and classic metal fans will love the soaring and screaming vocals. In short, Holy Grail's "Crisis In Utopia" has something for just about everyone.

Highs: "Requiem," "Cherish Disdain" and "Fight To Kill."

Lows: The lurching "The Blackest Night."

Bottom line: A potent blend of thrash speed and energy with power and classic metal elements.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)