"Finished With the Dogs"

(Locomotive reissue)

01. Finished With the Dogs
02. Current of Death
03. Criminal Assault
04. In the Slaughterhouse
05. Fortress of Desperation
06. Six Fat Women
07. Corroded Dreams
08. Life's Destroyer
09. Rest In Pain
10. Military Service
11. Road Crew
12. Life's Destroyer (live)
13. Current of Death (live)
14. In the Slaughterhouse (live)
15. Finished With the Dogs (live)

RATING: 8/10

If you ever salivated over Noise Records catalogs in the 1980s, or agonized over whether to spend the last of your beer money on a DETENTE LP, chances are you're already familiar with German thrashers HOLY MOSES. Inexplicably never afforded the worldwide distribution and notoriety of their peers, the band has turned many heads since their 2001 comeback album. Part of that can be attributed to the good looks of frontwoman Sabine Classen, to be sure, but ultimately, the good name of HOLY MOSES relies on one thing — solid, catchy, charismatic, impossible-to-deny thrash metal mayhem.

"Finished With the Dogs", originally released in 1987, is a friggin' classic, one that quite honestly outshines a lot of the more well-known albums of the day. It's more tight, technical and well-put-together than, well, just about anything it shared record rack space with! Just listen to "Military Service" — that main riff is to die for, Classen growls and snarls like a woman possessed, and the drums polka on maniacally. The song is cohesive, the playing is top-notch, the production clear and forceful, yet the basic adrenalized attack is undiluted.

Other highlights include "Current of Death" (that "woah-oh-oh-oh" chorus deserving of a rousing crowd singalong at the muddy Euro-metal fest of your choice) and the vicious "Corroded Dreams". There's a very Germanic sound to HOLY MOSES in this era — this album slots in nicely next to efforts from KREATOR, TANKARD and SODOM, although none of those bands would match 'em technically for a few more years. Stylistically, HOLY MOSES stick with meat-and-potatoes thrash, but unlike so many of their forgotten peers, they remembered to write songs, with choruses — memorable, infectious, the kind of stuff that still fires up the faithful two decades later and makes reissues like this necessary.

The reissue contains four live bonus tracks — all cuts from the album, but all from post-comeback shows in the 2000's. Perhaps no suitable tapes have survived, but it would have been nice to hear the 1987 lineup, warts and all, careening through "Life's Destroyer" and the quizzically-titled "Six Fat Women" (this from the band who would later bring us titling masterpieces like "The New Machine of Liechtenstein"). Nevertheless, just having this thrash classic readily available worldwide is reason enough to celebrate. Thrash 'til death!


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