HOLY MOSES - Agony Of Death

Holy Moses - Agony Of Death

12 songs
70:02 minutes
***** ***


It is no secret that Holy Moses are one of Germany’s pioneer thrash metal bands. Starting in 1980, there have been more than twenty musicians playing at one time in this band, and apart from a longer break between 1994 and 2001, changing line-ups of the band have recorded new albums every two or three years. Their current twelfth CD Agony of Death shows Holy Moses from a surprisingly strong side.

It is obvious that we shouldn’t expect classics like in their early days (Life’s Destroyer in 1987 for instance), but front-woman Sabina Classen, already in her mid-Forties, still fascinates with her otherworldly raspy voice. After all these years, it is still hard to believe that this is a woman singing, and the question begs to be asked how long her vocal cords can endure this (mis)treatment.

Their music is still solid old school thrash metal of the most extreme kind, although the band allows complex parts into their songwriting. Sometimes I feel reminded of Living Death, a techno thrash icon of the Eighties, and therefore it makes perfectly sense that their drummer Atomic Steif is now a member of Holy Moses. Especially Schizophrenia, thanks to the cool backing vocals, has the charm of the genre’s old classics. Frequent atmospheric and electronic sounds make for surprising breaks in between songs.

Those who were into the German techno thrash movement of the late Eighties or who still can’t get enough of Teutonic legends like Kreator and Destruction, are the main audience for Holy Moses. The sound quality is much better than on their early albums, and the seventy minutes of music hardly contain any fillers. Holy Moses are anything but tired. With this attitude, they are allowed to release further albums in the future.

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