Thursday, October 17, 2013

HOLY CROSS: "Place Your Bets"

Rating: R
Label: PureSteel 2013
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Could the latest album by Holy Cross hold the secret of how to confuse the listener and to make them believe they're confronted with several different singers? There's merely one of them though and in this case unfortunately one too many. Mickael Champon goes through at least five different stages of the strange metal persona and performances on "Place Your Bets" and the result is confusion and disorder. He's high and low, raspy and raw, but never really on the money.

The rest of the band are trying to keep up appearance by adding lots of fine heavy riffing and solos. The galloping drumming and thrashy bass-lines of highest order. I especially enjoy "Break Your Chains" where the aggressive metal meet more melodic stuff in great fashion and style.

There are times, however, when the singing comes to an abrupt halt and you merely pray for the all-instrumental song and order. All in vain and no such luck. The strange performer continue throughout all the nine tracks. The final chapter of "Higher and Higher", no doubt the best vocal delivery of the day. Alas, it's much too little and too late to save the day, or night for that matter. No one should ever tell Holy Cross what to do with their singer and music. But I would advice them to focus on finding the one style that works the best and not mess around with pitch and range. Not quite at the level of their thrash and metal heroes, this tale is a metal experience that will have this listener reaching for skip. Better luck next time.

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