ReviewsHoly Mother – Rise (Massacre Records)

Holy Mother – Rise (Massacre Records)

This scribe remembers when heavy/power metal of any variety was a tough sell in the United States – especially during the mid to late 90s. Most domestic bands sought out overseas record deals and festival/tour opportunities abroad – because they just couldn’t get the active media / live show support stateside to increase demand. Long Island, NY is home to one such act with Holy Mother – who released five albums between 1995-2003 before their first disbandment in 2004. The comeback outing Face This Burn impressed many when released in 2021, leading up to this seventh studio record for Rise. Sticking to the groups bread and butter power riffs, soaring melodies, and thunderous bass/drum foundation, these ten tracks keep the pedal engaged to the metal, along with engaging angelic vocal support from singer Mike Tirelli’s daughter Violet on a few tracks that keep the band as currently relevant as ever.

The influences across the board take on a variety of styles across the modern heavy metal, power metal, and slightly groove-oriented 70s hard rock mentors. Mike digs deep into his bag of Black Sabbath, Dio, and Deep Purple-esque multi-octave prowess abilities during highlights such as the early 70s gargantuan bluesy swinger “Jeremiah” just as easily as being forceful or militant on a more modern outing like “Down”. Heavier chords punctuate the aural landscape through opener “Rise”, drummer James Harris flexing his professionalism across the kit through his solid main parts as well as infectious double kick proficiency. Larger, cyber-oriented visions come to mind when taking in “Interventionist” – Mike possessing the right mix of killer screams and smoothness during the key verse/chorus moments, the lead break from Mickey Lyxx as well as slower, churning transition adding a deeper dimension when gearing up for the next high register note holding extravaganza. As a tribute to long lost bassist Randy Coven, “Live to Die” gets a re-recording, originally appearing on the Toxic Rain album from 1998 – still a tremendous, heart-pumping number in the vein of classic Judas Priest, while the finale “Rain” contains those bombastic vocal harmonies and guitar/drum interplay that takes power/heavy metal to that dramatic, proper satisfaction moment you want to hear to conclude things.

Holy Mother probably still has its strongest following in mainland Europe due to the previous coverage and mostly European-type record deals on the table. But do not let Rise slip through the cracks, as this is a great mix of heavy / power metal with US influences that could garner the group a much younger following.

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