Review by Felix on May 28, 2023.
In my humble opinion, Germany’s thrash history is the only one that is almost on a par with that of the United States. More or less immortal legends have influenced legions of later thrash and black metal formations. But let’s look the truth in the eye: they did it with their early works. “Chemical Invasion” kills “Two-Faced”, “Pleasure to Kill” laughs about “Hate über alles” and “Infernal Overkill” destroys “Spiritual Genocide” with great ease. So when it comes to “Redefined Mayhem”, you better do not expect another “Finished with the Dogs”. Of course, a “Hellhound” and some “Undead Dogs” show up again and the latter have really cool riffs and lines stacked in their dog mausoleum. However, 30 years after the first steps, the juvenile energy does not reappear. We learn: even Sabina cannot deny the rules of ageing. To be honest, that is frightening and reassuring at the same time.
Sabina hisses, shrieks and rattles as ever, while the faceless instrumentalists deliver mostly solid thrash metal of the predictable kind. A few number of pieces you forget before they have even faded away (“Sacred Sorrows”) and it is also true that a chorus totally fails every now and then (“Process of Projection”). The male background vocals do not fully convince on this album, they rather damage the unique selling point of Holy Moses. In addition, the band likes to sound scratchy and unruly, which is expressed in bulky rhythms. Too bad that they are at the expense of the flow of some songs. “Liars”, for example, starts with a dynamic riff, but its power gets lost during the bridge and the crossover-like chorus. Anyway, it is not only the clean yet aggressive production that delivers some positive aspects. Holy Moses avoid the rough crash landing because of some good moments.
For example, from time to time the spirit of “Near Dark” shimmers through the guitar work and appears like a signature. I also appreciate that the quartet does not run out of breath. “Delusion” is a late (little) highlight with its rubbery guitar riff. I know albums with less good tracks on position eleven. By the way, Sabrina is not spared self-knowledge in this song – “my past is what I am”. Guess this is not totally wrong; only in musical terms, of course. So at the end of the day, “Redefined Mayhem” is an album with ups and downs that lies stylistically in close proximity to its predecessors. The guitar work is cool, the drumming sounds pretty mechanic and the vocals are Sabina. “Undead Dogs” is the title I can recommend most due to its great chorus. Here the Liechtenstein riffing becomes superior. But the gloomy, dragging “Into the Dark” is able to spread an attractive aroma as well. However, unlike some works from the eighties, "Redefined Mayhem" has not become a widely used source of inspiration.
Rating: 6.9 out of 10469