Games Meet Metal: Holy Grail's Crisis In Utopia and Wilthered's Dualitas: Another Disturbying CD Review

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holy Grail's Crisis In Utopia and Wilthered's Dualitas: Another Disturbying CD Review

Our metal mailbox (that's right) was stuffed last week, so today I bring you a double review. This has to do in part because we received many an album to dissect but also because all of the albums we received are already in stores (one for as long as 9 months!). The albums I am reviewing are from two different sides of the metal spectrum but both on Prosthetic Records. Holy Grail is a Power Metal Band out of Pasadena who have just released their debut album where Withered is an Extreme Death Metal band out of Atlanta and this is their 3rd album. I'm going to try my hardest not to compare one to the other but we'll see what happens.

Despite only being around for a couple of years, Holy Grail have made a bit of a name for themselves. Aside from supporting Amon Amarth earlier this year and currently touring with Blind Guardian, they also have a tune available for download on the Rockband Network. Not too shabby for these Sunshine State kids. With Crisis In Utopia they can cross "debut album" off of their metal career bucket list and they can also look back and have something to be proud of.

It's been a really long time since I've sat down and listened to a power metal album. I didn't know that's what I was going to get because I don't actually start my band research until I have my headphones on and the tunes cranked. I was instantly drawn into the huge sound that these guys produce and I admit that I got pretty excited about this record. Despite the track record, Holy Grail sounds like a band who's been at this for years. The music on this record is very focused and has a lot of energy. Stand out tracks on this album for me were The Blackest Night, My Last Attack, Crisis in Utopia and Fight to Kill. In fact, all of you Rock Band owners out there should go and download Fight To Kill for a taste of what this band has to offer.

Withered has been around for about seven years now but I haven't heard of them until I played this album. This year the band has been working hard to record and release this album but they've still had some time to tour with the likes of Danzig and Skeletonswitch. Now, I'm not a huge fan of extreme metal so when the first track almost peeled my ears off I was really regretting having to listen to the other six tracks. However, I toughed it out and found myself surprised at what Dualitas had to offer.

Musically these guys are really tight. I really liked the grooves that the band would lay down but unfortunately I wasn't a fan of the vocals. To me it seemed to be the one piece that didn't belong in the rest of the puzzle. Again, I can't compare this to their other records and something tells me that this isn't something new. Residue in the void, From Shadows and The Prognitor's Grasp were the stand out tracks for me. Aethereal Breath was pretty good as well but I felt that parts of the song were drawn out a little too much for their own good.

All in all a couple of pretty solid albums from Prosthetic Records. Crisis in Utopia was definitely more up my alley than Dualitas, but I still enjoyed both records. As I mentioned, Holy Grail is currently on tour with legendary act, Blind Guardian. Here are the remaining dates of the tour:

12/08 - The Regency Ballroom - San Francisco, CA
12/09 - Henry Fonda Theatre / The Music Box - Los Angeles, CA
12/10 - Marquee Theatre - Tempe, AZ
12/11 - Sunshine Theater - Albuquerque, NM
12/12 - Bluebird Theater - Denver, CO
12/14 - Trees - Dallas, TX
12/15 - Scout Bar - Houston, TX
12/17 - The Orange Peel - Asheville, NC
12/18 - The State Theatre - St. Petersburg, FL (Florida Power Fest)
12/19 - The Masquerade - Atlanta, GA
12/21 - Lincoln Theatre - Raleigh, NC
12/22 - Jaxx - W. Springfield, VA

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