Holy Terror - Mind Wars
Under One Flag
Thrash/Speed Metal
8 songs (39:39)
Release year: 1988
Reviewed by Thomas

Holy Terror's career was rather short-lived and came to an abrupt end after only two releases. However, of all the old-timers that only got to release a couple of albums, these are the guys that were way ahead of their time, and have a couple of golden years to look back on. Even if things were pretty bad on a personal level for a couple of the members, they managed to churn out some of the best speed/thrash metal that was ever created. Something people didn't realize until years after of course. After months and even years of hassle they released the damn near perfect Terror and Submission which related to the dirty, aggressive European and especially German branch of thrash metal. The following year, Mind Wars was unleashed upon the masses, terror and riots following its blazing trails. Recorded in only 17 days, with no significant processing, the rawness and edgy explosiveness cut through the underground like an axe, but unfortunately wasn't acknowledged until years after. This is a fucking classic.

I could easily have ended this review there, to spare you the time, because of that very fact that you need to check this out right now. The fury, viciousness and fierce quality of spine-snapping speedy thrash metal found on Mind Wars is not available anywhere else. This band is unique, and this album is probably the best of its kind. In my review of Terror and Submission I said that I preferred that one over this, but that was a lie, I take that back.

Unbelievably enough, I wasn't too impressed by this the first time I heard it. I just couldn't seem to grasp it somehow even though the riffs are full of hooks and the melodies are forcefully seizing your brain. However, when properly possessed by this, you'll start noticing the details and just how perfect it is. Judas Reward urges to war with its stomping intro before it launches an assault of riffs, shouts and blasting drums. The breaks are few and far between as Joe Mitchell fills every tiny hole there is, the shredding riffs rips skin from you bones, and Keith Deen sounds much grittier than earlier. Debt of Pain continues at the same speed. It's short and perfect yet adds a pinch of melody. Deen sound a bit cleaner here, but varies plenty among his manageable styles.

After the brutal stabbing the opening duo offered, The Immoral Wasteland slows things down a bit, and takes an approach more related to Iron Maiden than anything else. The song is galloping forward driven by solid rhythm work, guitar duels and fantastic breaks that reminds me a great deal of Killersexcept for Deen's twisted vocals. So after what someone might consider a break, A Fools Gold/Terminal Hour/Mind Wars picks up the violence with fast, furious riffs that touches upon technicality, razor sharp vocal work, dirty yet thunderous bass-work as well as hell-blazing drums in a flurry of shapeshifting speed metal that'll rip your head off. The Mind Wars part of the song starts of with a riff you may recognize from Megadeth's Hangar 18 by the way, a song that was released two years later. The bashing of Christianity takes form with the powerful Damned by the Judges, where the NWOBHM-influences again are apparent with twin-guitar work in particular. It's executed perfectly and may as well melt any metal heart of every metal head.

Fierce thrasher Do Unto Others cuts throats, and has a punky edge to it. It leads into the ferocious No Resurrection, easily the most chaotic song on the album as a tornado of riffs, guitar-solos, drums and shouts that destroys everything in its way. Finishing blow Christian Resistance results in a blizzard of insanity an closes the album in savage fashion.

No matter how obscure this is, this disc is purely essential for being so ahead of its time, as well as being loaded with anger and emotions, and of course the level of musicianship put on display here. It's fantastic is what it is. Perfect even.

Killing Songs :
Every single one of them
Thomas quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Holy Terror that we have reviewed:
Holy Terror - Terror and Submission reviewed by Thomas and quoted 96 / 100
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