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Agony Of Death
(Wacken Records / SPV)

What do bands like SODOM, KREATOR, DESTRUCTION and HOLY MOSES have in common? Well, all 4 of them are great German Thrash Metal bands from the good ol' 80s. And what don't they (have in common)? I guess HOLY MOSES is the only one that manages to remain interesting to me after all these years. Strange enough, HOLY MOSES remains a rather underestimated band even in times like these where most serious listeners have lost their faith in the "Un-Holy Trinity" of German Thrash Metal. With this whole "Thrash Metal Revival" and with tons of younger bands (some of them done for pure fun only - yikes!) around it was about time that an old Thrash Bastard (to quote Metalion) band like HOLY MOSES would teach some lessons to all those youngsters in how cool Thrash Metal should be performed. "Agony Of Death" sounds primitive, yet modern, traditional yet rejuvenating, all at the same time. It's apparent that HOLY MOSES are a band with a huge live experience and their brand new material sounds more than fitting for kick-ass live performances. I guess the overall vibe I got is that this is a rather catchy album that would be totally enjoyable when performed on stage. Sharp guitars, crushing rhythm section and a solid as hell production (a bit more clear / huge for my liking, but still killer!) all of which compose "Agony Of Death", a damn good successor of the band's previous full-length album, "Strength Power Will Passion". Every song is introduced by a rather cool, sci-fi intro which adds to the post-apocalyptic atmosphere (and perhaps theme / concept?) of the album. I think there will be a couple of different versions of the album one of which won't contain those lengthy intros. I guess HOLY MOSES want to keep everyone satisfied and get away from stupid questions like "Why did you use such lengthy intros" etc that everyone likes to ask but no one really cares about. To sum it up, nothing new here, nothing outrageous, nothing that will change the world of Thrash Metal forever, still a damn good album performed with skills and undeniable class by one of the most original representatives of the old school scene. Along with the latest TESTAMENT album, "Agony Of Death" is the best album of the year by a 80s Thrash Metal band.

Manolis A.

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