Grails – Chalice Hymnal

Released in 2017 on Temporary Residence Records

Format: LPx2

Album Overview

Every song on the newest Grails album feels like it’s own distinct movie scene, pulling you into a different world than the track before it. “Pelham” is a sci-fi chase scene full of foreboding synth arpeggios and driving drums. The sparse drum and soft vocal loops of “Empty Chamber” recall a skipping record player sitting in the corner of the room during a scene of forbidden love (and also sounds like something that could’ve been released by Grails’ Trip-hop side project Lilacs & Champagne). The sinister fuzz riffs and psychedelic atmospheres of “New Prague” sound like Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd collaborating on the soundtrack of some fantasy movie battle scene. And that’s only Side A! The rest of the album has sweeping cinematic strings, a dramatic piano anthem (Deeper Politics), oceanic synth ambience (Rebecca), and a 12-string acoustic guitar passage that builds into a dynamic psych-rock epic (Deep Snow II). While each Grails album uses instrumental rock as a means to explore a vast record collection’s worth of influences, none have done so with the subtlety and focus put into each track of this latest offering, allowing us to see the intangible essence of their sound more clearly than ever.

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