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Holy Moses

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  • Formed: Aachen, Germany
  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s


Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

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.


This article is about the German thrash metal band . For the rocket with the nickname Holy Moses, see High velocity aircraft rocket.

Holy Moses is a German thrash metal band. They are well noted for being fronted by Sabina Classen (it is rare for a woman to be a singer in thrash metal) and for being one of the very first German thrash metal bands.


History1.1 Formative years (1980–1985)1.2 Success (1986–1993)1.3 Hiatus (1994–2000)1.4 Reformation (2000–present)


Formative years (1980–1985)[edit]

Holy Moses were formed in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, on 1980. The band's first line-up was formed by bassist Ramon Brüssler, drummer Peter Vonderstein and guitarist Jochen Fünders during high school, the latter of whom also handled the band's vocals. This line-up played its first live show only four days after its formation, and released a demo titled Black Metal Masters in the same year. Vonderstein and Fünders left the group in 1981, and were replaced by drummer Paul Linzenich, vocalist Iggy, and guitarist Andy Classen from the local group Desaster. In December 1981, Iggy left the group and was replaced by ex-Desaster bassist and girlfriend of Andy, Sabina Classen (née Hirtz). The band performed their first live show with the new stable line-up in November 1982 and released a string of demo tapes, including Walpurgis Night in 1985, and The Bitch in 1986, and also appeared on the split-album compilation Metallic Bunnys.

Success (1986–1993)[edit]

In 1986, Holy Moses released their debut album Queen of Siam through independent label Aaarrg, with Herbert Dreger on the drums (Linzenich left shortly before the recording to focus on his university studies). After the release of the record, Dreger was sacked for not showing up to a support show with Agent Steel, and Brüssler (the only original member of Holy Moses remaining), left the band. Both members were replaced by nineteen-year-old Uli Kusch and Andre Chapelier respectively. The following year, Holy Moses released their sophomore effort Finished With the Dogs, which was a much heavier and cleaner-sounding album than its predecessor. The album is a critical success around the world, earning the band a distribution deal through Warner Music Group (WEA) and tours of Europe with Angel Dust, Rage, Steeler, Paganini, D.R.I. and Holy Terror, finishing with a headlining show in Hamburg.

In 1988, Sabina Classen became the host of a German heavy metal TV show called Mosh alongside journalist Götz Kühnemund. Meanwhile, Holy Moses begins work on their third studio effort. Released in 1989, The New Machine of Liechtenstein is another successful record from the group, with the band playing more heavier and more technical thrash metal than the previous two albums. The band toured with Sacred Reich and Forbidden, and performed at the Dynamo Open Air Festival, with second guitarist Rainer Laws added to the line-up. Around this time, Holy Moses severed their ties with Warner Music Group as a result of the record company's new staff trying to coerce the band into departing from their thrash metal influences and write more commercial music.

In 1990, Laws quits Holy Moses due to illness and retires to focus his skills as a graphic artist, leaving the band as a four-piece. The band then records World Chaos, released through West Virginia Records, an independent label owned by new band manager Uli Wiehagen. Kusch soon quits the band to join Gamma Ray, to be replaced by Atomic Steif. This line-up would remain stable for the next two records, Terminal Terror (1991), and Reborn Dogs (1992).

Soon after the release of Reborn Dogs, Sabina Classen left Holy Moses and the band subsequently dissolved. Classen went to form Temple of the Absurd with Warpath members Schrödey and Ozzy Frese, and drummer Mike Rech.

Hiatus (1994–2000)[edit]

Two years after the split of Holy Moses, Andy Classen releases a new record under the Holy Moses name titled No Matter What's the Cause. The line-up featured on the album included Classen on guitar and vocals, S.O.D.'s Dan Lilker on bass, and hardcore drummer Meff. The album was more hardcore/death metal influenced than the band's previous thrash-oriented efforts, and was not met with substantial success.

Reformation (2000–present)[edit]

In 1999, during touring for the second Temple of the Absurd album, Sabina Classen collapsed on stage and was hospitalised. The singer fell into a serious illness and suffered a motorcycle crash in 2000. Following this, Temple of the Absurd disband and Sabina begins to work with Andy again with what would eventually become new Holy Moses material. The band is reformed in early 2001 with Franky Brotz and Joern Schubert on guitar, Jochen Fünders on bass and Julien Schmidt on the drums. The band performs several comeback shows throughout Europe and South Korea, and releases an EP titled Master of Disaster through Century Media. Andy Classen stayed with the band as songwriter.

In 2002, Holy Moses released Disorder of the Order, their first album with the new line-up. Michael Hankel, guitarist of Erosion and friend of Andy's, replaced Schubert soon after the album's release, and becomes a main songwriter of the band. The band performed at Wacken Open Air festival in 2004, and after fan demand for another Holy Moses album, the group released Strength Power Will Passion in May the following year. It is the first album without input from Andy Classen. After securing a deal through Wacken Records and a subsequent re-release of the band's material, Fünders and Schmidt leave Holy Moses to be replaced by Thomas Neitsch and a returning Atomic Steif.

The band recorded and released their tenth album Agony of Death in 2008. They will release their eleventh album Redefined Mayhem on April 28, 2014.

^ "Holy Moses". allmusic. Rovi Corporation. ^ "Holy Moses To Release 'Redefined Mayhem' In April". Blabbermouth.net. 2014-01-30. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 


Members1.1 Current members1.2 Former members1.2.1 Vocals1.2.2 Guitars1.2.3 Bass1.2.4 Drums


Current members[edit]
Sabina Classen – Vocals (1981–Present)Thomas Neitsch – Bass (2008–Present)Gerd Lücking – Drums (2011–Present)Peter Geltat – Guitar (2012–Present)
Former members[edit]
Jochen Fünders – (1980–1981)Iggy – (1981)Tom Hirtz – (four weeks in 1984)Andy Classen – (1981–1994)
Jochen Fünders – (1980–1981)Jean-Claude – (1981)Andy Classen – (1981–1994)Georgie Symbos – (1987)Thilo Hermann – (1988)Rainer Laws – (1988–1990)Jörn Schubert – (2000–2002)Franky Brotz – (2000–2005)Michael Hankel – Guitar (2002–2012)Oliver Jaath – Guitar (2006–2014)
Ramon Brüssler – (1980–1986)Andre Chapelier – (1986–1987)Johan Susant – (1987)Thomas Becker – (1988–1990)Ben Schnell – (1990–1992)Dan Lilker – (1993–1994)Jochen Fünders – (2000–2001)Andreas Libera – (2001–2003)Alex De Blanco – (2003–2005)
Peter Vonderstein – (1980–1981)Paul Linzenich – (1981–1984)Jörg "Snake" Heins – (1984–1985)Herbert Dreger – (1985–1986)Uli Kusch – (1986–1990)Sven "Meff" Herwig – (1992–1994)Julien Schmidt – (2000–2005)Asgard Niels – (2005–2006)Atomic Steiff – (1990–1992, 2007–2010)
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