Holy Dragons: Unholy and Saints2nd September 2019 0 By Owen Edmonds
So….. Where to begin.
As has been the case recently, Holy Dragons are a band that I’d never heard of. However, on doing some research (shout out to Google) it turns out that the band are from Kazakhstan and ‘Unholy and Saints’ is their 18th studio album. That’s a lot.
From the very first track on the album it’s clear that this power metal band have been heavily influenced and shaped by NWOBHM. In fact the first track on the album “The Boilerplate'”could’ve been lifted straight from an album by Maiden.
Upon checking my notes I discovered that I had three things I liked about the album and three things I didn’t like. So let’s go with the bad news first.
Things I don’t like:
- The drums are loud in the mix on most of the tracks. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, sadly the drums also get a bit generic and after a while they annoyed me and I found I was zoning out of listening to the songs.
- The solo’s have a feeling about them that seems to be saying “Look how fast I can play!”. This has a tendency to make them boring. As an example, in ‘”Schweigespirale (Spirals of Silence)'”the solo’s sound like the sort of noise I made on my Amiga when I was 12. Have you seen Yngwie Malmsteen‘s youtube video ‘Heavy E Phygian‘? They are like that only not quite as good.
- Finally, I have to mention it, the vocalist. To be fair she’s singing in English which I guess isn’t her first language, but it all gets a bit whiny at times. In the tune “Pretenders'”she sounds like Cassandra from Wayne’s World. After a while, it all gets a bit much.
Things I do like:
- Overall, the musicianship is very good. These are clearly a band that know how to play and who’ve been doing it for a while. They’ve got some skill.
- I like fast guitar’s, sadly as mentioned above they have to be interesting to really get me going.
- If, like me, your musical education started in the 1980’s and you like Priest, Maiden, Purple, Metallica, Saxon,
Venom et al then Holy Dragons are a band you should invest some time into. I have faith that there is stuff in their back catalog that I’m going to really like.
There are some decent tracks on the album, taken in isolation. For example, “Ravens of Odin'”this clips along at a good pace, also “The Elf” really nice sections to this tune (it’s just the drums that are the problem here). Is there anything that will make my playlist? Not from this album. It’s alright, but nothing more than that. However, I am going to find their back catalog and see if there isn’t something in there that’ll make the list.
1 The Boilerplate (The Story of a Victorian Robot)
2 Ravens of Odin
3 Through the Dark Sky
4 Schweigespirale (The Spiral of Silence)
5 Fly Your Guitar
7 The Hall of Shame
8 Three Greatest Pigs
11 Beltane Night’s Dream
12 The Elf
13 Unholy and Saints
14 Free Digital Hell
20th September 2019
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About the author
I love music. My favourite 3 bands are Iron Maiden, The Doors and Jethro Tull. However, I love early Metallica, early RHCP, RATM, QOTSA, The Lounge Kittens, Rammstein, Clutch, Slayer, Faith No More, Pearl Jam, Rush, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and so many more.