Released: 2003, SPV
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Holy Mother is a New York-based band who have been around for almost 10 years. The band is made up of ex-members of Virgin Steele and Yngwie Malmsteen, so you know they have some talent behind them. AGORAPHOBIA is their fifth album and it is a killer release! Vocalist/founder Mike Tirelli has a voice that is a hybrid of Ronnie James Dio/David Coverdale/Eric Adams/”Ripper” Owens which suits the traditional/power metal sound perfectly. The guitars on this album are really in the forefront of the mix but the rhythm section is not forgotten either. Most of the songs will keep any headbanger busy with a furious beat and some sweet solos. “Modern Day God’ is a great song with a catchy chorus. “Heaven’s Door” is another standout track. “Hungry For Exxstacy” and “Sheer Erotica” have sleazy lyrics that reminded me of something from L.A. Guns or Faster Pussycat. Holy Mother aren’t a “retro” metal band at all but some of their lyric choices brought me back 15 years! Holy Mother has traditionally offered fans a treat with a cover song on each of their albums. In the past, they have done Judas Priest’s “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’”, Dio’s “Holy Diver”, Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” and Black Sabbath’s “Hole In The Sky”. On AGORAPHOBIA, the band takes a stab at another Sabbath classic, “Never Say Die”. Tirelli’s vocals are able to hit all of Ozzy’s notes and the musicianship doesn’t fail either.
The album cover is also worth mentioning because it looks like something that would not be out of place on an Iced Earth or Dio album. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, “agoraphobia” is the fear of being in a wide open space. Knowing that, the unchained maniacal-looking demon stalking the poor robot hiding in the steel ball on the cover makes sense.
Looking at the band’s website, it doesn’t appear Holy Mother gets much notice out of the New York state area, but this is one of the better CDs from a small band I’ve heard this year. If you can find it and you’re into their style, I can definitely recommend AGORAPHOBIA.