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Holy Moses: Strength Power Will Passion

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.

Track Listing:
01. Angel Cry
02. End Of Time
03. Symbol Of Spirit
04. Examination
05. I Will
06. Space Clearing
07. Sacred Crystals
08. Lost Inside
09. Death Bells II
10. Rebirthing
11. Seasons In The Twilight
12. Say Goodbye

Added: February 22nd 2006
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Related Link: Holy Moses's Web Site
Hits: 3379
Language: english

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