Saturday, February 26, 2011

Battle of the Trad Metal Bands: Holy Grail vs. Cauldron

When I originally thought up the concept for this post, I had only listened to each album once. (Crisis in Utopia and Burning Fortune, respectively) The more I heard each one, the more the comparison fell apart. But by this point, I had already tweeted that I was gonna do this. As a man of my word, I will continue. Fair warning: this won't be very good.
Album Cover
Holy Grail - Crisis in Utopia: Demonic pterodactyl-like creature screaming into the night. Standing on a corpse on a plateau littered with bones outside a city.
Cauldron - Burning Fortune: Vampire-like woman in a white dress getting out of the backseat of a car. Her high-heeled shoes are on fire.
The point goes to: Cauldron. If we look at it from a Trad point of view and in keeping with the vibe of the album, women and cars win. Besides, dinosaurs don't find jean jackets sexy.
HG: While not as epic as say, Iron Maiden, they have the same fantastical feeling. Maybe even touching power metal type themes. Valhalla, etc
C: More personal and "real life" than HG but still with quite the cheese-factor. Good use of repetition.
The point goes to: I'll give this one to Cauldron. The lyrics seem more Trad. HG's lyrics seems a little more modern. Or at least more bands now follow that style whereas Cauldron's have a much more retro feel.
 HG: Clean. The occasional growl. Good tone and seems versatile.
C: Um, I'm sure the band is cool with the vocals but I don't think they are very good. Backyard picnic quality. Some parts are hard to listen to. But hey, maybe that's what they were going for?
The point goes to: Holy Grail. This was a no-brainer.
HG: These dudes can shred!! Serious shred. Megadeth speed, Dragonforce virtuosity and a modern edge not unlike Trivium. Sweet.
C: Just as catchy as HG but nowhere near the note count. The solos aren't too bad but the feel is different than HG. Moodier.
The point goes to: Holy Grail. They win just because I prefer that style and they are more diverse.
HG: To keep up with those guitars, you have to be good. Really good feet.
C: Well, with this style, the drummer is really more of a time keeper.  Good at what he does though!
The point goes to: Holy Grail.
Final score: 3-2 in favour of Holy Grail.
It should be obvious how this comparison fell apart. While both lean on a retro style, the period and feel are way different. Holy Grail sounds like it comes from a more speed metal place whereas Cauldron feel more late '70s/early hair metal. It's not really a fair comparison. Apples and oranges. Both are quite catchy, "heavy metal" and I'm sure passionate about their music. If you like speed and epicness, go with Holy Grail. If you like white jean jackets and Trans Ams, go for Cauldron. (After wracking my brains on who Cauldron remind me of, I figured it out. The Scorpions.)

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