Finally, it is time to review a new album by the original queen of thrash metal. And luckily for us, she and her incredibly talented bandmates have created a fast, hard-hitting, really fun and well-crafted album.
The whole album is inspired by topics such as loss, decay, downfalls and destruction. The song are full of speed and rage, with titles like “Downfall of Mankind”, “Depersonalized”, “Cult of the Machine” and “Too Far Gone”. “Downfall of Mankind” is in fact the first track of the album, and a pretty kick-ass intro at that. It’s fast, with a call-and-response chorus and a great guitar solo. It grabs you and gets you really pumped up, much like the rest of the album. The best things about all these songs are their wild speed, their energy, angry attitude and snarly, raspy vocals. But let’s talk about the songs’ individual qualities.
Most of the album is typical of Holy Moses’ straightforward angry thrash metal with growls. One of the best straightforward thrash songs is the short, fast, angry “Outcasts” and its catchy chant chorus, great solo and overall sense of fun. Or “Order Out of Chaos”, with its angry and fast riffs, chanting-growling chorus from the whole band, and most of all its great guitar solo, that starts like some vaguely melodic 80s heavy metal before turning into a wild shredding performance. “The New Norm” also grabs you with its speed and its strange, raspy growls and chanting chorus.
Most songs show a lot of ambition and creativity, or just some really cool ideas. The chorus of “Cult of the Machine” is one of those cool ideas, with some interesting riffs that sound like something out of Meshuggah or Imperial Triumphant, and vocals that use the same sort of stuttering-yelling effect. “Alternative Reality” uses almost doomy riffs at the beginning, and keeps somewhat of a sinister atmosphere, contrasted by a great and fast bassline. “Visions in Red” begins with a similarly slower and mysterious riff, before the loud drums, big thrash riffs and solo, and in the middle, a distorted spoken word part is contrasted with raspy and echo-y growls.
The title track is one of the highlights, starting with one of Sabina Classen’s trademark deliberately ugly barking growls, before throwing at you all the fast and catchy verses, and a memorable “I am the (cool character)” chorus delivered in a raspy, evil voice with weird echoes. But some of my personal favorites are among the last track: “Forces Great and Hidden” is a great throwback to Holy Moses’ first albums from the 80s, with a mix of raspy singing and growls, and a mercilessly and irresistibly fast and catchy riff. Sabina has a strange voice, that may sound ugly to some, but it’s definitely unique and she knows how to use it perfectly.
“Too Far Gone” is a mostly ordinary thrash metal track, saved by its speed and energy, and super-fast vocal delivery on the last verse. But the last two tracks are really something, like the hyper-fast, blood-pumping and adrenaline rising “Depersonalized” and its chorus chanted by the entire band. “Through the Veils of Sleep” is a very nice ending to this album, with its equally fast and adrenaline-rising riffs, sinister growls, raspy singing and that creepy last line “She comes… to me!”.
Basically, it gathers all the best elements of the album: speed, rage, creepiness, unique vocal performance. This album is one that you’ll immediately like, because of its energy and very well-crafted songs. It’s mean, angry, fast and energetic, all I could ask for. Unlike many albums by similar bands, it avoids being repetitive with a real sense of creativity and an infectious energy. You’ll quickly know it’s a good album, and that Holy Moses are great at what they do, and better than their imitators. Sabina’s unique vocal style was an influence to many women in metal, and she has many imitators who are very good in their own right, but she proves that she can still hold her own and is still way above her concurrence. And the rest of the band is doing a great job too, so please, listen to their new offering.
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