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Essential - 98%

Vim_Fuego, August 6th, 2004

You find them lurking at the back of bins full of old second hand records. They are easily recognised by a thin patina of dust, which shows they have not been touched in months, if not years. Looking closer, you see amateurish artwork, which looks like an art student friend of the band drew it, and inside is a collage of photos of the band in full mullet glory trying to look "metal–as–fuck", but doing silly things with bottles of beer at the same time. These are archaeological deposits of a bygone era, pearls cast before the present day nu–metal swine, but buried treasures to be unearthed and coveted by the self–proclaimed metal intelligentsia. Mind Wars is just such an album.

Holy Terror may not have ever made much of a dent in the world of metal, such is the injustice of it all, but deserved to. Balls to the wall thrash, anti–Christian rantings, and tales of death, destruction and dementia abound. It is easy to visualise the band playing live, bullet belts, windmilling hair, foot–on–the–monitor poses, stage divers dragging themselves out of and hurling themselves into a swirling mass of chaos in front of the stage.

Holy Terror seem to take their musical cues from the early days of the Bay Area scene. There's a big helping of Exodus, a definite Testament influence, a hint of Possessed, and perhaps a dash of Slayer or Dark Angel.

"The Immortal Wasteland" is a bit of an odd track out. Rather than the biting thrash of the other songs, it is reminiscent of Iron Maiden with Exodus' Steve Souza on vocals. Twin leads, a bouncing bass line, and perhaps the most conventional vocal performance on the whole album. Maiden–isms slip into other tracks too, particularly the twin lead guitar sound.

"No Resurrection" is the pick of an excellent bunch. A tirade against some of the points central to Christianity, like the afterlife and the resurrection of Christ, the argument against it is posed in a thought–provoking manner. The song kicks off with a riff which is essential air guitar material. From there, it's neck–snapping thrash through til the end, with the odd detour into some unusual territory, with unexpected key changes, off kilter solos, and some tasty drum work.

If you are ever in need of a good dose of thrash, and you're sick of the big names, check this out and try to figure out why Holy Terror got left behind.