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Holy Moses

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Biography

Primarily a vehicle for Sabina Classen — one of the rare female vocalist to challenge the boys' club that was '80s thrash metal — Holy Moses burst into the international metal arena in 1986 with their Queen of Siam debut — but, although the group has rarely gone away since (breaking up for a few years in the mid-'90s), it has never ascended above cult status. Holy Moses were originally founded in 1980, in Aachen, Germany, by singer Jochen Fünders and bassist Ramon Brüssler, and it wasn't until the following year that Sabina Hirtz and her future husband, guitarist Andy Classen, joined the fold. The fledgling metal band would spend the next five years working on its repertoire, playing local gigs, and recording occasional demos with a variety of different drummers — finally hooking up with Herbert Dreger before recording the aforementioned Queen of Siam. This proved to be an extremely raw and uncompromising slab of metal-thrashing madness; musically indebted to bands like Slayer, Kreator, and Destruction, but primarily distinguished by Sabina's gargling-broken-glass vocals. A similarly voracious second album, Finished with the Dogs, followed the very next year and introduced new drummer Uli Kusch (future Helloween), but both it and its 1989 successor, The New Machine of Liechtenstein, added few refinements to Holy Moses' extremely inaccessible formula.

Still, aggressive touring all over Europe and even into East Germany had slowly expanded the band's fan base and enhanced its commercial profile so that, by decade's end, Holy Moses had done everything from performing at the Dynamo Open Air Festival to making a cameo in a major German TV soap called Ein Fall für Zwei. The fetching Sabina had even gone one step further, landing a regular side gig hosting a heavy metal show called Mosh for RTL TV. Unfortunately, all of these distractions couldn't help but detract from Holy Moses' recording career, which endured another handful of nondescript releases (including 1990's World Chaos, 1991's Terminal Terror, 1992's Reborn Dogs, and 1994's posthumous No Matter... What's the Cause) before ultimately grinding to a halt when Sabina and Andy Classen divorced. Sabina busied herself with other pursuits, but would eventually re-form Holy Moses with an entirely new lineup in late 2000, proceeding to record 2001's Master of Disaster EP, 2002's Disorder of Order LP, and 2005's Strength Power Will Passion LP.

Top Songs

Formed:

1980 in Aachen, Germany

Genre
Years Active:

'90s, '00s

Contemporaries