GRAAL – Chapter IV
Here is an Italian melodic hard rock act with proto-progressive tendencies, especially in the fluid keyboard department on their latest album "Chapter IV". This is my first experience with Graal, and I like their classic appeal with musicality at hand. The vocals are very mid-range with occasional upper reach flourishes, reminding me a lot of prime Steve Walsh from Kansas circa 1975-1978. Expect guitar work that has a lot of Rainbow and Magnum meets NWOBHM textures, while real Hammond organ play gives "The Day" for instance a huge progressive rock nuance.
Nothing is overly intricate, but smooth – "Pick Up All the Faults" and "Last Hold" giving off great vibes because of their street level groove and equally engaging vocal melodies- the latter even having a little exotic, snake charming segment in the instrumental sections as an echoing refrain. "Chapter IV" at an hour is probably best suited for the 40-something and older generation, but could be a cult classic because of its unique outlook and output.