Holy Grail has been out on the road for nearly two years supporting their debut album “Crisis In Utopia” which is a long time to be out on the road these days. Holy Grail is taking the old school approach by putting out an album and touring the living hell out of it yet the band sounded energetic, enthusiastic and not the least bit tired when performing here in Atlanta recently. There is something electrifying and exciting about this band that just infects everyone that they stand before. There is nothing pretentious, fake or egotistical about Holy Grail. They schlep all their own gear onto the stage, sound check all the gear themselves and then before you know it, the house lights drop and with a huge roar from guitarist Eli Santana, Holy Grail comes alive. Vocalist James Paul Luna addresses the sparse audience like he’s addressing a stadium full of people. “Atlanta! We are Holy Fucking Grail from California. This song is called IMMORTAL MAN!” As the band slammed into the song, the enthusiastic crowd went nuts as they moshed, sang along and pumped their fists in there air just like it was a classic metal show from the days of old. It’s rare these days that band can pull so much enthusiasm from an audience and Holy Grail did this with ease.

It’s easy to show your enthusiasm to a band who gives their audience everything they have. James Paul Luna has solidified his spot as one of my all time favorite metal vocalists. Not only does he have the voice but he possess a commanding presence that is not cocky or arrogant. His job is to make sure that everyone in that room knows who Holy Grail is and to make sure that they don’t forget it. In the spirit of the greats like Bruce Dickinson and Ronnie James Dio, James Paul Luna has graduated his schooling with honors. The band continued on melting faces by delivering fan favorites such as “Call of Valhalla” and “Chase The Wind” but “Crisis In Utopia” is where the band really comes together as a tight knit unit. Drummer Tyler Mehl has to be metal’s most unsung drum hero as this guy totally crushes his kit. The band as whole just completely locks in on this complex arrangement and the thunderous intro alone had jaws hanging open. “Hollow Ground” is without a doubt my current favorite song and features some really great Steve Harris inspired bass playing by Blake Mount. It’s too bad that the bass is buried in the mix of the album but in a live setting, Blake really shines and shows just what he’s capable of as a bassist.

Holy Grail then kicked into their first single/video “My Last Attack” and once again the audience went nuts. Guitarists Eli Santana and new addition Alex Lee played off of each other the entire night and did so almost telepathically as it was like they just knew what the other was going to do. Alex is without a doubt the perfect guitar player for Holy Grail and he plays the songs like he’s been in the band for years. James LaRue really set such a strong foundation with his guitar playing on these songs. Alex has proved himself capable of capturing that spirit and adding his own touch to it making those songs his own. Closing out their set with “Fight To Kill” as always brought the house down and as the band closed out people were chanting for more. When an opening band gets chants for an encore you know they’ve done good.

Holy Grail has once again proven to me to be the best modern metal band out there. I have yet to see a band perform with such conviction and power. All the elements of a great, classic band are there. Great guitar playing, a thunderous rhythm section and a singer who can own a stage. Holy Grail has never let me down and I feel that I am literally watching this band grow by leaps and bounds. Holy Grail is a band that I would love to see make as big a mark on the face of metal as their heroes did. Even if it all ends tomorrow, Holy Grail will have at least left a scar or two while going out fighting.

Holy Grail Setlist
Immortal Man, For All Eternity, Call of Valhalla, Crisis In Utopia, Hollow Ground, Chase The Wind, My Last Attack, Fight To Kill

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About The Author

The Brainfart

Don (aka. The Brainfart) has been a heavy metal fan since hearing it for the first time in 1983. Don is also repsonsible for all of the typos, shitty grammar, and kick ass content on this site. Don likes cheap beer, whiskey, Coca Cola Icees, going to shows, and hanging with his kick ass wife, two cats (Drusilla & Coltrane) and dog (Cassie). He originally wanted to name his dog Shandi but his wife said, "No fucking way."

Spoob says:

“The Blackest Night” is my fave on that album. Thanks for introducing me to this band. Crisis In Utopia is stuck in the CD player in the Sentra forever (seriously- it won’t eject).