- - - - - -

Holy Moses - Redefined Mayhem

Holy Moses – CD Review
Redefined Mayhem

Holy Moses




CD Info
13 Tracks + extra track on vinyl special edition
English Lyrics

Some female metal vocalists are princesses. Others are queens. Those at the very top are elevated to an even higher rank. Among this elite, Sabina Classen yet again cements her status as Metal Goddess on the new Holy Moses album.

This is a slightly different Holy Moses with a new guitarist, Peter Geltat, recruited in 2012. Watch him! If he continues to play as he has done on Redefined Mayhem, he’ll be staking his claim to metal godhood before too long.

This is also a more evolved Holy Moses, and not only because the other two members –Thomas Neitsch on bass and Gerd Lücking on drums – have become stalwarts as well as experts in the line-up. Sabina (all praise her) decreed that the band would continue its pattern of probing into new territory. They’ve been doing that since Sabina (I’d love to have tea with her) founded the band three decades ago. Since then she has been the driving force, the constantly self-upgrading hyperdrive engine, in the Holy Moses machine.

Sabina… tea, not beer. I’d want to keep a clear head while I absorbed everything she might be kind enough to share with me. She must have enough good stories to fill a book. One chapter in that book would have to be about Sabina (no more comments in parentheses after this one) and her ground-breaking role in the rise of women in metal. She was one of the pioneers of the death growl in female vocals.

Her pioneering has lost no momentum. It extends to embrace new interpretations of melodic metal on Redefined Mayhem. Thrash is still the band’s core sound, as it has been since the start of the 1980s. This album, however, brings in variations of melodic death, black, and even some bluesy bits.

The goddess herself remains as brilliant as ever. She switches effortlessly between the different styles of dark vocals, from the deep and guttural to the high and nasal, without a flaw in her voice or execution. One of the many things I love about her is that her diction is so clear in spite of the growling. It’s good to hear the words, not just the sound of the lyrics.

The instrumentalists have all delivered gigantic contributions to the depth and breadth of the album. In Sabina’s words: “It’s still first-rate thrash metal, fast-paced and powerful, chaotic at times, but with a modern touch and amazingly multifaceted guitars and drums.” That is no overstatement.

Peter Geltat is undoubtedly a virtuoso. He extracts beautiful riffs and mind-blowing solos from his guitar. Some of his melody lines are pure magic. Any metal lovers, not just thrash fans, may sit back and shake their heads in wonder…

… Except that they’ll be moshing and head-banging to the percussion and rhythm on the entire album. When you play the album again to listen more closely to individual performances, you’ll have to raise a tankard in salute to Thomas Neitsch. It’s almost as if he telepathically connects to the others to work his bass lines into an exact fit with the mood and pace of the music. He doesn’t try to push his bass to the front, but he’s always gratifyingly in the visual picture.

Gerd Lücking is one of those drummers that some bands may spend their lifetime trying find. How many twists and turns can you build from the mainstay blast beat of thrash? Ask Gerd to show you. Maybe he himself hasn’t yet tried all the percussive hooks I’m sure he could add. He certainly knows enough of them already.

As you’ll have gathered, I’m mightily impressed by this album. It’s available as a CD or you can splash out on the deluxe edition, which includes a vinyl set. If you’re looking for a grand concert in the near future, check out the band’s website or Facebook page for their tour schedule. They’ll be hitting some big venues in Europe during the rest of April, then journeying on to the USA in May.

Rating: 8.8/10

Official website