I'm not overly familiar with this little Italian band called Graal, but after a few spins of their latest release Legends Never Die, I'm sure as hell taking notice. The band, comprised of Andrea Ciccomartino (Vocals and Guitars), Francesco Zagarese (Guitars),
Danilo Petrelli (Keyboards), Michele Raspanti (Bass), and Alex Giuliani (Drums), draw their influences from such 'legends' as Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, Yes, Bloodrock, Led Zeppelin, and Genesis. More of a 70's inspired hard rock record than anthing else, the band do add in enough classic prog elements to make this one really interesting, much like Sweden's Black Bonzo.
If you like heavy guitar riffs, raging Hammond organ, melodic vocals, the occasional prog synth solo, and blistering lead guitar, you've come to the right place. Tunes such as "Gods of War", "Keep on Movin'", and the surging wah-wah freakout "Stickin' With You" work nicely alongside the more proggy & pastoral "Across This Land", "The Sky Over Dublin", and "Winter Song". The heavy rockers though reign surpreme, as more often than not you are treated to Purple-meets-Sabbath-meets-Grand Funk thumpers like "Time to Die", "Ocean's Tides", and "Stay". Musically, Legends Never Die is spot on throughout, and though the vocals have a slight Italian accent, the English pronunciation is actually quite good.
The packaging on this little gem is quite nice, housed in a colorful digipack with great artwork, lyrics, and band photo. Though plenty bands do the retro 70's hard rock/prog thing these days, not many are as convincing or as enjoyable to listen to as Graal, and for that, their latest Legends Never Die I can highly recommend.
- IL BALLO DI CATERINA
- GODS OF WAR
- MAYBE TOMORROW, MAYBE ONE DAY
- KEEP ON MOVIN'
- ACROSS THIS LAND
- THE SKY OVER DUBLIN (to Mirima)
- STICKIN' WITH YOU
- I'LL FIND A WAY
- TIME TO DIE
- OCEAN'S TIDES
- WINTER SONG