REVIEW: Holy Grail – Ride The Void

Holy Grail

Band: Holy Grail
Album: Ride The Void
Label: Prosthetic Records
Genre: Pure Fucking Metal

It’s been just over two years since Holy Grail released their monolithic debut album Crisis In Utopia, and now the SoCal metal troupe has returned with their second album, Ride The Void. With only one member difference from the last album cycle, expectations in the metal world (mine included) were pretty high this time around. In many ways, Holy Grail have stood and delivered.

Once past the crescendoing intro “Archeus,” Ride The Void really kicks up the intensity–and fast. “Welcome to submission, welcome to your home” screams Luna in the opening line of “Bestia Triumphans” followed by some pretty fancy fretwork, setting the perfect tone to what is very aptly described as a pure metal musical journey. Galloping rhythms, soaring leads, furious riffs, the works–you’ll find a lot of different aspects of what make metal great throughout Ride The Void.

In terms of variety of sounds, feels and styles on the album, Ride The Void far outweighs the band’s previous efforts as they tie in a more diverse collection of techniques from various metal sub-genres. More growls and thrash metal sections, more guitar squeals, tied together by the sound that launched their success back in 2009.

Somewhat unfortunately, however, is that by adding so much diversity to the fold they’ve sacrificed some of the catchiness from Crisis In Utopia. Given how catchy Crisis In Utopia was and how much more intense Ride The Void is at times, this is not surprising, and ultimately not particularly good or bad -– but if nothing else, it’s nice to hear a change that doesn’t suck for a band’s sophomore effort.

At the end of the day, Ride The Void is a strong, satiating effort, even if it’s resting on some of metal’s most classic laurels. There’s something to be said for metal that perfectly harkens back to metal’s purest moments, and it’s “more, please.” Ride The Void is certainly something that can whet just about any metalhead’s thirst for metal.

Score: 8.5/10
Review by Jordan Munson

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