Okay, this is it, I promise. This will be the last HOLY MOSES reissue review. What can I say — anyone into '80s thrash should be ecstatic that these albums, long scarce in the United States and out of print elsewhere, are seeing proper remastering and release for the modern age. If I've written enough about them recently to make it seem like I'm bucking for the job of vocalist Sabine Classen's cabana boy, well, it's just that these are some important and underrated albums, and you should know about them. (Now about that benefits package…)"World Chaos" was the band's fourth album, their first after a brief fling with major label Warner Brothers, and it originally landed in 1990, a strange time for thrash. The biggest names of the genre were suffering through identity crises (ANTHRAX), growing pains resulting in second-rate material (TESTAMENT, EXODUS) or eyeballing a stab at the mainstream (METALLICA, MEGADETH). The HOLY MOSES response to all this? Kick down the doors with opener "World Chaos", one of the simplest and fastest thrash riffs the band has doled out to date, and follow it up raw, punishing thrash padded with several novelty covers (unless the label knows something I don't about the history of DEAD KENNEDYS classic "Too Drunk to Fuck" and BEASTIE BOYS hit "Fight For Your Right (To Party)", they might wanna look into that "all music by Andy Classen, all words by Sabina Classen" credit in the liner notes). Not knowing the inner workings of the band's history, it's still tempting to venture a guess that "World Chaos" was a bit of a rushed project. Not only do we get the two cover tunes (the less said about these, the better), but there's an overall sense of — perhaps not creative bankruptcy, but a lack of really grade-A ideas to hang a song on. Tunes like "Deutschland (Remember the Past)" remind me of some of D.R.I. or NUCLEAR ASSAULT's midtempo songs of the same era — the sound of a band most comfortable at high velocity, without much idea what to do when things slow down. These songs don't age particularly well, and while they have their moments, the overall effect is to slot "World Chaos" a step or two behind bona-fide classics like "Finished With the Dogs" and "The New Machine of Liechtenstein". Still good, still with enough great thrash moments to make them a worthwhile addition to a thrasher's collection… but perhaps not till after the best albums are picked up. Thankfully, those moments of directionlessness are relatively rare. We still get ripping thrash tracks like the title cut and the churning "Bloodsucker", along with the excellent but oddly-titled "Guns 'n Moses". All in all, a pretty damn good record for its time, just perhaps not up to the impeccable standards HOLY MOSES had already set for itself.
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