Holy Moses - Strength, Power, Will, Passion
Armageddon Records
13 songs (66'03")
Release year: 2005
www.holymoses.de, Armageddon Records
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

Some bands get to experience a lot more trials and tribulations during their existence. German thrashers Holy Moses had to endure 25 years of history, which included founding member leaving to live in Thailand, revolving door of musicians, marriage and subsequent divorce of the two creative masterminds behind the band, automobile accidents, illnesses, etc. Whatever does not kill you makes you stronger, and that probably happens to be the motto by which Sabina Classen, aka Princess of Hell, lives by. If not, why would she then decide to resurrect Holy Moses a few years back in 2001 with a couple of albums on Century Media/SPV? In fact, those albums included Andy Classen, Sabina’s former husband and famous Euro melodeath/thrash producer (Callenish Circle, Dew-Scented), contributing as in the good old days. To be entirely honest, I have considered Holy Moses old news after Finished with the Dogs and The New Machine of Liechtenstein, so I never experienced the comeback albums.

Through a weird twist of coincidences Strength, Power, Will, Passion fell into my lap. This 2005 output sees Sabina gathering all of the album title qualities into one fist, discovering a similar minded guitarist-composer-producer Michael Hankel and putting out an album heavily rooted in Teutonic thrash sprinkled with modern production values. Kreator and Destruction should be proud of their country thrash female icon.

Strength, Power, Will, Passion, although a little awkwardly titled, is full of engaging, headbanging and unadulterated thrash. Holy Moses deserve our respects that after all these years they are still playing fast, but in control, pulling down tight chops and strong solos. In the fast tracks of the album the focus is on ripping speed and electric rhythm guitar shred. As basic as it sounds, the album does not eventually grate on the listener, because of simple, short song structures with pronounced choruses and delineated solos, as well as smart song sequencing in terms of tempo. Not as fast, but just as tight, Symbol of Spirit follows the blistering End of Time, and Space Clearing sounds a lot more ominous after I Will “clears” the way. Michael Hankel does not forget to include solos that generally weave into the song fabric (Lost Inside) and harmonize with the rest of the track.

The album is strong, but it is even in its delivery, so when we stumble upon the special cut, the notice is immediately taken. Angel Cry is a hell of an opener, Seasons in the Twilight is more brutal than the rest of the album, perhaps because of incessant double bass and Death Bells II contains old school melody and headbanging galore. My personal favorite, however, is Examination, where everything is based off of strong main riff, and forceful chords transition into soaring, almost atmospheric, feel. Arch Enemy would do very well to listen to Examination seeing how the band is veering away from the roots.

Speaking of Arch Enemy, while Angela Gossow can be mistaken for a man, Sabina’s vocals, although full of ovary-balls (her term, not mine) and bent on the desire to rip you a new one, there is something unmistakably feminine in her voice. She sounds more like a female Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger) than growling Gossow, and that is perhaps where the difference lies. Sabina’s duet with Tom Angelripper (Sodom) on the hidden track is an uninhibited “beer” metal delight and she simply breathes fire in Say Goodbye.

Strength, Power, Will, Passion is a good solid thrash album, even though it could use a couple of more standout tracks.

Killing Songs :
Angel Cry, Examination, Death Bells II
Alex quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Holy Moses that we have reviewed:
Holy Moses - The Agony of Death reviewed by Charles and quoted 82 / 100
Holy Moses - Disorder Of The Order reviewed by Danny and quoted 78 / 100
Holy Moses - Master Of Disaster reviewed by Danny and quoted 68 / 100
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