HOLY MOSES     “Invisible Queen”

By Dr. Abner Mality

So the end has come for HOLY MOSES. After 42 years, the German thrash unit says it’s calling it a day after “Invisible Queen”. I’ve found that a lot of these “retirements” are pretty temporary, but in this case, I think it’s legit. There has always been something different about this band, a refusal to compromise their unique vision, that makes me believe what they say. If so, they head into the sunset with another high-energy notch in their gun holster.

They were different right from the start. I remember the reviews of their earliest albums back in the paper zine days and a lot of people just didn’t get their style. It wasn’t just another imitation of Bay Area or German thrash...it had a colder, more mechanical style. In many ways, HOLY MOSES presaged what later bands like MESHUGGAH, PANTERA, FEAR FACTORY and more would do. And then there were the roaring no-compromise vocals of their female singer Sabina Classen, who for sure was not a DORO knockoff or LEE AARON clone. The woman was a beast! And still is. She continues her trailblazing harsh angry vocals on “Invisible Queen”.

One thing that has definitely improved for HOLY MOSES over the years is production. The sound of those early albums was pretty rough and even amateurish. Here, the studio has finally caught up to them and delivered a raw yet clear sound. The bass and drums in particular really pop here. And as for the music, we get 12 tracks of crunchy riffs, furious yet controlled speed and Sabina’s trademark growls. I don’t think I could easily pick a favorite, as the anger is constant. The mechanical, almost industrial feel of the band remains. You can tell from the song titles...”The New Norm”, “Cult of the Machine”, “Forces Great And Hidden”, “Depersonalized”...that they are tackling the dystopia that is now upon us, the coming world where the machine has subsumed nature in every phase.

They are more angry now than on “Queen of Siam” back in 1986. How many bands older than 40 years can make that claim? Is “Invisible Queen” the end? In a way, I hope so, because it means they went out on a high note.