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Holy Moses

Queen of Siam

Review by Greg Olma

The good folks at Locomotive have done it again. The idea of reissuing an album is one of the best ways to give some older music a new lease on life. Many people discover band years later because someone realized that they could reach a whole new market with existing product. This Holy Moses release is just that kind of reissue. I have read about them in years past but have never run across their music in CD shops. Being older, I was lucky enough to catch many of the classic thrash bands on their first tours but somehow Holy Moses slipped through my fingers, until now. The original version of this record came out in 1986 and the sound and feel is perfect for that timeframe. I have to admit that Sabina Classen’s vocals are an acquired taste, but the music is great old school thrash. Andy Classen’s guitar work throughout this album is really the star of the show. He manages to keep things thrashy but add enough melodic riffs to keep things interesting and not one dimensional. As an added bonus, you get another album’s worth of music called the “Walpurgisnight Demos.” While many of the tracks are duplicated, they are different enough to make it interesting. It’s also a good peak into the process of how songs start and what the finished product becomes. If you’re an old school thrash fan, give this CD a try. You won’t be disappointed.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
The album starts off with a plodding riff with a Black Sabbath feel. Once the song kicks in, it is pure old school thrash. The vocal are kind of rough and hard to make out the lyrics but they do fit the music well.
Don't Mess Around With The Bitch
As I listen to this tune, I can’t help but be reminded of early Celtic Frost. There is some really heavy riffing that would not be out of place on a Frost record. The vocals are also a bit more audible. This is one of the longer songs but it has a number of sub parts which helps keep things interesting.
Devil's Dancer
These guys (and gal) really show their influences throughout this CD. The guitar work sounds very Judas Priest like (Stained Class era) but speeds up for the guitar solo. And speaking of guitar solos, Andy Classen really knows how to play a solo for the song and not over it. This cut really shows off his melodic guitar technique.
Queen of Siam
Title tracks are usually some of the better ones on an album and it is no different here. This is a great thrash tune and the band slips in more of their influences into it. This time it is early Iron Maiden. Add to that another great guitar solo and this is one of the winners on the CD.
The best way to describe this track is short and sweet. It is a total Motorhead rocker with Sabina Classen even sounding like Lemmy at times.
This is another fast paced thrasher that keeps things interesting by throwing a number of time changes in the mix. The song speeds up towards the end and culminates in a very unholy scream courtesy of Sabina Classen.
Bursting Rest
The Iron Maiden influences crop up again especially when the lead guitar kicks in. There is a nice slow plodding bridge that leads into another good guitar solo. Andy Classen is the type of player that can elevate an average track into something special.
Dear Little Friend
Although this is a good cut, it does not fit in with the rest of the songs. It is a mid paced melodic rocker that (although it has a few fast parts), still does not manage to fit in. It’s a good song but it does break the flow of the entire album.
Torches of Hire
This is a good instrumental that has more of that early Iron Maiden feel. It’s a nice way to end a solid album.
Intro (Walpurgisnight Demo -Bonus Track)
Sound effects start this piece that sounds more like a movie score than anything else.
Walpurgisnight (Demo-Bonus Track)
This demo version is almost twice as long as the finished song. The guitar solo seems a bit longer and the tune ends differently.
Bursting Rest (Demo-Bonus Track)
I don’t know why they decided to cut the Black Sabbath sounding intro from the final version because it adds a nice touch to the song. The guitar solo is also really good and shows the foundation of what became the final product.
Torches For Hire (Demo-Bonus Track)
This cut is very similar to the final version. The only difference is the name change and there is no real reason for that because it’s an instrumental.
Queen of Siam (Demo-Bonus Track)
All of the demos have a “garage tape” sound to them but none more than this one. The structure is very similar to the album version except it is 2 minutes longer. The track on the main disc is better. This one goes on too long.
Death Bells (Demo-Bonus Track)
This tune is not as thrashy as the others. It has more of a NWOBHM sound with extreme vocals. The production is obviously raw which kind of helps the song. It might not have worked as well if it was produced well.
Heavy Metal (Demo-Bonus Track)
If the previous song benefited from being under produced, this cut would have been better with more production. It’s a good thrash song and I would have liked to hear what they would have come up with in a proper studio.
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