Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Holy Moses - World Chaos (1990)

The opening charge of the title track really had me excited for World Chaos, because it showed more energy than anything off the prior record The New Machine of Liechtenstein and marked a possible return to the flurried anger and energy that I so loved on the band's masterwork Finished With the Dogs. Unfortunately, that's not really how the rest of this album pans out, for a large chunk of the track list seems to revolve around 'fun' thrash, with heavy punk influence, almost if the band were transforming into a German equivalent to D.R.I. There are still some real blazers here, but in all I felt like this were some sort of 'party' album, and while there are several things to admire about this, it's not the return to insanity I was hoping.

"World Chaos" is just a straight attack, with Sabina's uncouth growling, and it's one of the better songs here, but ultimately lacks the catchy force of a "Current of Death". A few of the other, noteworthy hammerings include "Education", "Summer Kills" and "Jungle of Lies", but most of the record seems to devolve into some standard, mosh pit paced tracks like "Diabolic Plot", similar to Sacred Reich and Hallows Eve, or "Deutschland (Remember the Past)" which reminds me of D.R.I. in their pure thrash phase). There are some naturally punky or corny pieces like "Blood Sucker" and their tongue in cheek "Guns N'Moses" (note the familiar riff in the latter), and then the 'fun factor' is thrown overboard with the band's covers of "Too Drunk to Fuck" and the CD bonus "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)". The Dead Kennedys cover is actually quite good, one of the better German thrash covers out there at this time, but the Beastie Boys tune leaves a lot to be desired in the hands of the Classens.

I will say this: World Chaos sounds fairly amazing, with a punchier tone than its predecessors that recalls a lot of crossover/thrash ala D.R.I. Thrash Zone or the Crumbsuckers. It's a comparable mix to Finished with the Dogs, only cleaner, but not so polished to strangle some of the band's natural energies. It's the first Holy Moses album where I found myself not liking the cover art, in particular the logo/title placement, but I suppose its topical enough for the lyrical material on the more serious songs. Andy Classen really knew how to throw an album together, I only wish the steady improvement in production values didn't seem to come at the expense of the gradual downward spiral of the band's musical content that would persist for years.

Verdict: Win [7/10]
(don't believe what you see)

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