I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the biggest Holy Grail fan in exisence, but, honestly, this album isn’t that bad. I don’t really have a lot of complaints towards what I heard, but the biggest would be the wash out on the cymbals, which is really obvious given the cleaner production quality that pulls them a little more to the forefront. If you heard their single “The Passanger,” you’ll have picked up on this well. But, then you have the first major track, “Bestia Triumphans,” which has one of the most wretched guitar solos you’ll ever hear. The slower pace music behind it is understandable in a nightmarish way, but it conflicts horribly with the faster and cleaner guitar work with some notes being played way off from what is required. Thankfully, thi is the only time it seems to happen.
“Cosswinds” is a little more of an upbeat song, and it was easy to get into, much like a lot of others on the release. The slight gallop approach and additional technicality here and there definitely helped it stand out more. The aggressive gutturals that hit prior to the solo are a nice touch, but it’s nothing new considering “Bestia Triumphans” introduced them in the background. “Sleep of Virtue” follows, which is more of a casual, laid back offering, but with enbough bite to it that you’ll atleast bob your head along obediently. The energy isn’t really there, but it’s replaced with an accessable approach that you won’t find on your local top hits radio station. The same goes for the following cut, “Silence the Scream,” though some of the bridges do feature additional technicality that is akin to something System of a Down would tackle.
But, of all the tracks, I am absolutely in love with the title track, and I understood immediately why it’s the premiere lyric video, though it easily should have been the lead single. Starting out with a depressing introduction, the atmosphere is kept dark and deep, the clean singing bringing in a little more emotion that the music simply feeds off of perfectly. My head was banging along without missing a beat the entire time, and the simpler guitar solo fit the tone perfectly to complete the environment. Even the breakdown that erupts afterwards is kept short, but still suits what the band was going for.
The only other song that truly sticks out is the aggressive “The Great Artifice.” This one shows some edgier “Hardcore” roots thrown into some of the bridges. Deep shouting is utilized against what ounds like mini breakdowns, while the guitar solo ushers in a classical vibe that suits the verses well. The passage that hits following could use a little more work, granted, but the open section isn’t all that bad in the long run and doesn’t end up huting things too badly.
One spin with Ride the Void didn’t really introduce me to anything that new or fresh, but it did still surprise me with plenty of catchy songs either way. Holy Grail fans will not be let down this time arond, as much of the album finds accessable music coming your way with a few zingers that do change things up. It’s just sad that the title track is really the only one that sticks out as a unique offering. If you’re looking for a safe album, this is definitely one to keep in your crosshairs for 2013. But, if you want something with a little more substance, this isn’t going to fill that specific gap in your soul.
|Initial Pressing Score: 7/10