Perhaps Holy Moses should be called Holy Mary, because their front-man is a
front-woman. Given the band's heavy thrash and death-growls style, the female
vocalist aspect will immediately evoke comparisons with Arch Enemy and Crisis -
so let's deal with those comparisons first:
Holy Moses fits right between Crisis and Arch Enemy, and like her
counterparts, you have to listen closely to tell that the vocalist here is a
woman - the growls are deep, angry, and powerful. Sabina Classen's growls are
not as heavy, brutal or raw as Karyn Crisis's, and Holy Moses's music is far
more mature and better produced than Crisis, and the instrumental performances
executed very well. Arch Enemy's Angela Gossow has a softer, more lyrical,
almost musical delivery. And from a standpoint of pure musicianship, Arch Enemy
is in a different league. You can't really fault Holy Moses - they do
everything very well - but the Swedes have an extra dimension of imagination,
inspiration, and old fashioned musicianship.
Those vocals are assisted by backing (male) vocalists - usually growled but
sometimes relatively clean - although it seems that any clean voice sections
have been buried in the mix. Still - they add an important layer and help rescue
the record from vocal monotony.
There are no keyboards - this is mostly riff-stuff driven by a powerful,
crunchy dual guitar attack, and whipped into a frenzy by a double-bass so rapid
that it sounds almost mechanical. The occasional lead guitar work decent and
fits the style - never special though - and the album us defined by decent
riffs, the vocals, and the attitude and the energy. It isn't melodic, but then
this genre isn't supposed to be.
Strength Power Will Passion is Holy Moses's tenth release. The band
faded away for a while but was revitalized around 2000 - and this one is the
first album released without the input producer and previous principal
songwriter, and Sabina's ex-husband, Andy Classen. Yet the style doesn't seem to
have strayed far from the band's traditional sound.
The final track "Say Goodbye" contains one of those unforgivable long
silences before you uncover a 'hidden bonus track'. Sorry, folks, that is a very
over-used gimmick that serves only to annoy its target audience..
At 66 minutes and 6 seconds (including that 17-minute silence), and with
Sabina sporting an upside down crucifix on her forehead in the cover art, it's
clear that there's little Holy about this band - and the music itself comes as
well executed middle-of-the-road extreme metal.
01. Angel Cry
02. End Of Time
03. Symbol Of Spirit
05. I Will
06. Space Clearing
07. Sacred Crystals
08. Lost Inside
09. Death Bells II
11. Seasons In The Twilight
12. Say Goodbye