Holy Terror

Terror and Submission

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Holy Terror may have arrived at the thrash metal party after it was well underway, but they made a pretty immediate impression with their distinctive 1987 debut, Terror and Submission, and its surprisingly versatile batch of songs. The aptly named "Black Plague" gets us under way with all of the usual thrash metal trimmings: creepy intro effects, impossibly frantic velocity, and a slower but distinctive "Creeping Death"-inspired bridge, to boot; after which additional burners like "Mortal Fear" and "Tomorrow's End" rarely pause for breath in the process of devastating everything in their path. That's not all there is to it, though, since, with their adherence to relatively traditional rock structures and abundant vocal melodies, other tracks like "Evil's Rising," "Distant Calling," and the title cut, actually have more in common with speed metal (which, unlike thrash, is simply classic metal done a hell of a lot faster). And in the spectacularly named "Guardians of the Netherworld," featuring slower tempos and almost thrash-free presentation, Holy Terror reveal the album's wild card, show off even more songwriting range, and quite possibly a little confusion, as well, where their overall stylistic direction is concerned. Nevertheless, and despite a few rather forgettable songs to round things out, there's no debating that Holy Terror showed great promise with this first outing.

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