Reviewed: January 2021
Released: January 2021, Massacre Records
Reviewer: Buddy H
I love to analyze and break down things to see how they’re made. It’s just in my nature. This is especially enjoyable when I come across a band I’ve never heard before. With a large cup of coffee flowing full speed through my system, I sat down with my trusty old Bose earphones and began listening to the latest offering from Holy Mother, titled FACE THIS BURN. Let the fun begin!
So, how is this machine called FACE THIS BURN made? Well, to start, the instruments (vocals not included) sound light to moderately electronically processed. Add to that, a sporadic sprinkling of industrial sounds, and you have this album in a nutshell. Don’t misunderstand me; this is not industrial music to the degree of Nine Inch Nails or Ministry. This is still 100% metal. Picture the synthy guitar sound of TURBO era Judas Priest meets VIOLENT NEW BREED era Shotgun Messiah, perfectly recorded and mastered with today’s technology, and you will get a good idea of what I mean. The vocals are commanding and placed firmly atop the mix. There were times I closed my eyes and could’ve sworn the king, Ronnie James Dio, was behind the mic. Then, from out of nowhere, I heard clean, lower register Geoff Tate! This combination is extremely effective in creating the all-important dynamics and mood of each song. The guitars and bass are heavy but, as I stated before, contain varying degrees of electronic processing. Overall, they sound great and really add texture to each tune. The drums are battering, with just the right amount of reverb added, and sound almost robotic in their precision.
The album begins with the title track, “Face This Burn” and, immediately, the industrial tinged sounds hit you right between the eyes. The Dio/Tate hybrid vocals kick in and the ride begins. The main guitar riff is very repetitive, as are most of the riffs in each song. The chorus features some great double kick drumming and sounds vaguely similar to Scott Travis on the mighty “Painkiller”! There are several stand out tracks here beginning with “No Death Reborn”. The tempo is slow and plodding but, with multiple layers of sound added throughout, the tension builds and resolves with a memorable sing along chorus. “The Truth” opens with a lick very reminiscent of Corrosion of Conformity and that vibe continues throughout the song, crescendoing with a very wah-heavy guitar solo. The true gem on here is “Prince of the Garden”. This tune would fit nicely anywhere on PROMISED LAND or HEAR IN THE NOW FRONTEIR by Queensryche! The clean modulated guitars set the stage for a richly textured mid-tempo rocker that reveals new elements around each twist and turn. The vocals are exactly what you would expect and need and a scorching guitar solo puts the cherry on top of this treat! The album continues with the same formula it began with.
Industrially colored repetitive riffs with powerful drumming and top-notch vocals dominate FACE THIS BURN until the album closer, a cover of The Carpenters hit “Superstar” (yes, The Carpenters from the 70’s). I’m all for re-imagining hit songs from the past. Nevermore pulled off a stunning cover of the Simon and Garfunkel classic, “The Sound of Silence”. Gus G did a magnificent cover of Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” on his last solo album. This cover just does not translate for me. I absolutely applaud the effort though!
FACE THIS BURN was a great introduction to Holy Mother for me. Please don’t let the ”industrial” description scare you. This is still quality metal served with precision and skill!
1. Face This Burn
2. Love Is Dead
4. No Death Reborn
5. The Truth
6. Prince Of The Garden
7. Wake Up America
8. Mesmerized By Hate
10. The River
Mike Tirelli – Lead Vocals
Greg Giordano – Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Russell Pzütto – Bass Guitar
Jim Haris – Drums