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I miss Sabina... - 73%

Agonymph, January 1st, 2007

Although she wasn't there from the very beginning, Sabina Classen was always Holy Moses to me. As was Andy Classen by the way. But Sabina was the (very pretty) face of the band and her never ending devotion to Holy Moses and their brand of Thrash Metal was infectious. Not to mention that it gave the band that little extra that made them special to me.

Somewhere halfway the nineties, she left the band to do her own band called Temple Of The Absurd. Causing that directly was the material that Andy Classen had written that would later form the album 'No Matter What's The Cause'. 'No Matter...' was more Hardcore-based, simpler and more compact than anything Holy Moses had ever done and that was obviously not Sabina's direction.

So this album was recorded as a three-piece, with Andy handling all the guitars and vocals and Sven Herwig playing drums joining forces with Thrash bassist extraordinaire Dan Lilker (Anthrax, Nuclear Assault, Brutal Truth, S.O.D.). The result is a to-the-point Hardcore/Metal album and I have to say I agree with Sabina. My respect for Andy Classen is never ending, but 'No Matter What's The Cause' isn't really what I want to hear from Holy Moses.

Quite disturbing is that the songs are pretty hard to keep apart. Of course, that is something general with Hardcore, but I probably expected more from Andy Classen. Some parts in 'Acceptance' are acceptable (no pun intended, seriously), 'What's Up' has some nice riffing, 'Denial' is okay, but the rest just doesn't do anything with me. Besides, Andy's vocals on this album are much weaker than on any album before this one.

That doesn't mean this album is bad. There are two stand-out tracks on this album and surprisingly, the first one is a cover. I have never ever heard the original by Shock Therapy, but what Holy Moses made out of 'Hate Is Just A 4 Letter' word isn't bad at all! The piano parts, which are, from what I heard, played by Dan Lilker, are beautiful and the atmosphere of the song just takes me away. Sven Herwig proves once again that he is a good drummer, especially because stylistically, this song is very different from the rest of the album and that is no different for the drumming.

Sabina does a guest appearance in the other highlight of the album: 'I Feel Sick'. This track also displays a new direction, but it blends in with old style Holy Moses as well. Again, some great drumming by Sven Herwig and the interaction between Andy's and Sabina's vocals works quite good for this song. It's quite catchy as well. And I absolutely love the slower middle part of the song. Nice riffing...pounding drums...very nice to bang your head to in deed.

'No Matter What's The Cause' is an okay album, but it's just not Holy Moses. I know that the aggression displayed on the album is sincere, but it's just not my way of portraying anger. There's nothing wrong with it, except for the fact that it's not Thrash and of course Dan Lilker's godawful bass sound. Nothing wrong with his playing though. I can understand why Holy Moses temporarily disbanded after this album. I want Sabina back!