On paper, Holy Wars has all the ingredients to be on the right track to a breakthrough act. They’re now label mates with Spiritbox and on the evidence of ‘Cult Classic‘, they execute the boundaryless gentrification trend to a tee. Blending metal riffs, hyper-pop flourishes, hints of hip-hop, and a slight nod to horror, the pairing of Kat Leon and Nick Perez throw a lot at the wall in these five tracks. And despite its ambitious title, it’s a mixed bag.
To their credit, Holy Wars have a tendency to deliver an abundance of energy. Its title track is a high-octane rush, embracing a shadowy pop-rock tone. Likewise, ‘Deus Ex Machina’ rumbles with Leon’s snappy vocals and Perez’s Tom Morello-esque screeching guitar. ‘Body//Temple’ broods in its verses, before bursting in a slick alt.metal manner, amplifying the panic stirred up.
‘VenoM’ provides the biggest, if simplistic, hook on offer, yet Leon’s doom-trap bars don’t entirely fit. Nevertheless, with its explosive instrumentation, it’s one of the more impressionable tracks. Before, ‘TENSION//RELEASE’ wraps up this brief outing. Churning up a fearful and dramatic tone, it showcases Holy Wars‘ theatrical tendencies with a soaring chorus.
There’s no doubt Holy Wars have tapped into a niché that is current, yet the potential to stand out from the crowd is becoming increasingly difficult, and it shows here. Nevertheless, ‘Cult Classic‘ plants the occasional seed of promise. Kat Leon’s vocals have charisma and attitude. Whereas Nick Perez’s production is ideally sonically powerful, comfortably switching between sounds and styles. Whether or not it’s enough for Holy Wars to fulfil their potential, remains to be seen. Whatever they do next is considerably make or break.
‘Cult Classic’ by Holy Wars is out now on Pale Music.