One of the few successful extreme metal bands to be fronted by a woman, Holy Moses – even more than 30 years into their career – inevitably draw comparisons with the likes of the more high profile Arch Enemy. And, certainly, there are similarities between the two bands, especially in the aggressive vocal styles of Sabina Classen and Angela Gossow, both of whom make you instantly question that these are, in fact, female vocals which are pummelling your cranium to dust… but, it is here that all comparisons end!
With this, their 11th studio album (and their first in six long years), the Westphalian quartet show no signs of slowing down – and, if anything, display a renewed aggression and love for delivering classic thrash metal with a modern twist.
‘Redefined Mayhem’ is firmly rooted in the traditional Teutonic thrash sound that HM, alongside contemporaries such as Kreator and Sodom, first developed at the turn of the 1980s, but incorporates many elements of what subsequently has emerged and helped move the genre forward, without compromising the band’s straightforward, no nonsense approach. The 13 tracks are hard-hitting and, indeed, uncompromising, guaranteed to rip neck muscles from the first downstroke of Peter Geltat’s plectrum: the guitarist has two hard acts to follow (in Andy Classen and Michael Hankel) but he does so with aplomb and energy, producing a mix of hard-edged, speed-laden riffs and nifty melodies, while Classen’s vocals are dark, aggressive and menacing.
Everything is held together tighter than a nun’s crack by the rhythm section of Thomas Neitsch (along with Classen the only remaining member of the line-up which recorded 2008’s ‘Agony Of Death’ and Gerd Lücking, the latter of whom turns in a particularly impressive display behind the kit, while Neitsch’s production draws all the elements together with an undertone of broodiness and controlled chaos.
This is a hugely impressive album by a band who truly can be regarded as one of the innovators of the genre but can still teach today’s young upstarts a lesson or three…
Hellhound / Triggered / Undead Dogs / Into The Dark / Sacred Sorrows / Process Of Projection / Fading Realities / Liars / Redemption Of The Shattered / Whet The Knife / Delusion / One Step Ahead Of Death / This Dirt
Recommended listening: ‘One Step Ahead Of Death’.
‘Redefined Mayhem’ released via Steamhammer/SPV on April 28.