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Holy Graal - Just a Signal [Independent]

Artist: Holy Graal
Title: Just A Signal
Label: Independent
Length: 23’13“
Tracks: 4
Style: Prog Rock
Origin: France
Similar bands: Marillion/Rush

Holy Graal is a French indie band which has existed for over 10 years. Sadly the band hasn’t had much luck when it comes to scoring a record deal so far. The 5 members of the band are: Frederic Guionnet (guitar), Frederic Isnard (vocals, bass), Gil Pinatel (keys), Fatima Taamallah (backing vocals) Cyrill Tosquellas (drums).

Holy Graal play hard edged prog rock, somewhere between prog metal and neo-prog. They serve up some interesting fusion of styles, which makes them hard to compare to other bands. The band has one lead vocalist and one backing vocalist whose duets work out pretty well, coming up with some very original vocal-lines, though at times they sing a bit unclear. Accompanied by Pinatel’s nice keyboards the band creates some interesting dark moods. His spacey keyboards are up front in the mix, which leaves less room for the other instruments. Luckily, his keyboard playing is really good so it doesn’t bother me that much.

Although given many spins in my player, this music is a little hard to get into. It’s not very catchy, rather slow paced and the vocal-lines are at times pretty experimental, however it’s a good shot at doing something different and out of the ordinary. At times the moody dark atmosphere brings forth a somewhat gothic sound.

There is no doubt, these are good musicians and they do have the ability to write good songs, take 'Birds' and 'Global Awareness' for example, which are very strong songs with a different take on the prog genre. The other two songs though fail to attract me in the same way, lacking good and interesting melody-lines. Sadly this EP suffers from a thin production as it would in fact be interesting to hear what this band could have created with more resources at hand.

Holy Graal certainly shows a lot of promise, but I am afraid the hard competition between bands these days and Holy Graal’s "un-commercial" and different sound will make it difficult for them to get signed. This is by no means a poor album, but it’s different and might not be for everyone so make sure you listen before buying.

Added: January 24th 2003
Reviewer: Bjørnar
Related Link: Holy Graal Homepage
Hits: 52
Language: english