Holy Mother-Toxic Rain (A*B*S) 1998
Well, I had heard of this band, but the only song I had ever heard from them was their contribution to the "Holy Dio" tribute. Holy Mother play straight forward power metal with a big commercial hook, yet they could not even remotley be labeled pop metal. "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" is a Judas Priest cover, a band that obviously had a big impact on this band's sound. "Melting Pot" starts of with a big Iron Maiden feel to it, before kicking into a heavy riff that will have you jumping into spontaneous fits of headbanging. This particular version of 'Toxic Rain' is the reissued version with much improved cover art, a sticker of the cover, and an additional disc titled, "Best Of A*B*S Records". The A*B*S cd includes the song, "Power In My Blood", which was written and recorded during the "Toxic Rain" sessions, but was not included on the album. This bonus cd also includes the song "Rage", which was from the band's debut album and as song titled "What If Tomorrow Never Comes" that showed up on the band's next cd, "Criminal Afterlife".
Holy Mother-My World War (Shark) 2000
1." Livin' On Luck"
How did I ever miss these guys? Man, they have to be one of the best pure power metal bands in the U.S. right now. Funny thing is they are even from my home state, where most of my family lives. (New Jersey) I suppose, as with most good American true metal and thrash bands, the problem is lack of label support. Anyhow, this album smokes from beginning to end. Their is some variation in style from song to song , such as 'Livin' on Luck,' which has a classic metal sound or 'My World War' which is probably one of the heaviest songs on the disc with a slow plodding, tribal sound. There is even a Billy Idol cover ("Rebel Yell") Still, there is no doubt about the fact that these guys are on a quest to bring real metal back.
Holy Mother - Criminal Afterlife (A*B*S Records) 1999
Holy Mother are a rare breed. Unlike many of the current crop of power metal bands that either are keyboard saturated prog-metal or are more on the lines of "Painkiller"-inspired speed metal, Holy Mother fall more in line with classic metal bands like Dio, TT Quick and classic 1980's Judas Priest. The band covers Dio's classic "Holy Diver" and this song fits in so well with the band's original material that if someone were unfamiliar with Dio, it would not be instantly recognizable as a cover song. Vocalist Mike Tirelli has that classic metal voice that works so well with this style, and at times does indeed remind me of the mighty Ronnie James Dio. The riffs aren't the most original sounding riffs in the world; at times I was reminded of other classic metal songs. In "Armageddon" for instance, there is a portion of the song that reminds me of Sabbath's "Heaven and Hell". However, the songwriting, together with excellent vocals, crunchy guitars and pounding drums more than make-up for any lack of originality. Besides, I don't think Holy Mother are neccessarily trying to be the most original band around, but rather are just playing what they like; pure heavy metal.
Holy Mother - Agoraphobia (SPV/Steamhammer) 2003
One of the unheard of heroes of the underground heavy metal fight. Holy Mother have been around for over a decade with little fanfare from either their homeland or even Europe. "Agoraphobia" is actually the band's fifth studio album, but due to lack of exposure and the fact that their older CDs were next to impossible to get, most of those discs remain unheard to even the most faithful metal fans. Thankfully, for their sake, they are now on a decent label that knows how to market heavy metal. Holy Mother play American heavy metal, that some mistakingly label power metal. This label is incorrect. While the technical skill may be there, and the vocals are of the clean power metal variety, the music is just straight up heavy metal - street attitude, loud, heavy guitars and thundering drums. Fans of TT Quick, Sword, Armored Saint or any other denim and leather clad heavy metal band will know what I am talking about. Tirelli knows how to write a good hook without coming off as some throwback to 80's pop metal band. Unfortunately the lyrics on this CD really bring it down for me. Titles like "Hungry For Exxstacy", "Sheer Erotica", and "Nympho" should give some idea of what to expect. Not that there is anything new to promoting this teeny-bopper sexual tripe. Kiss, Ted Nugent, Aerosmith and many other great bands have used this in the past with great success. However, Holy Mother just come off as super-cheesy. Other songs such as "Modern Day God", "Society, Anxiety" and the title track are all examples of what the band are capable of both musically and lyrically. It's a shame that there wasn't more thought put into the rest of lyrics. Shoot, I would have even liked to have heard some sort of metal anthem. The cover of Black Sabbath's "Never Say Die" is actually refreshing from a lyrical standpoint alone, after coming off the tripe in "Nympho". Agoraphobia is a good heavy metal platter that is unfortunately marred by poor lyrics.
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