Holy Mother – Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is Holy Mother’s fifth album in ten years.

Yeah, I know. I hadn’t heard of them either.

In Holy Mother’s bio, they refer to this album as “dynamic power metal with a license to bang your head.” Combine that with the two following facts. One, the band includes members and ex-members of Messiah’s Kiss, yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Virgin Steele, Gothic Nights, and Victory. Two, lead singer and founder Mike Tirelli cites his influences as “Dio, Halford, Coverdale and Tate”, and also plays in a Dio cover band.

I’ll continue the review for the sake of tradition, but you should probably know by this point if Agoraphobia is for you.

“Dynamic power metal” translates to “sounds like Skid Row” — and while that might sound good to a few of us, most metal heads are looking for a bit more modern and heavier these days. Fans of classic Judas Priest and Armored Saint will be in heaven, as Holy Mother’s classic metal sound stays pretty much true to the godfathers of the genre.

Agoraphobia means “an abnormal fear of open or public places.” Expanding on that idea, each song on Agoraphobia deals with a different fear or phobia, spanning from anxiety to schizophrenia to nymphomania. While tracks like “Hungry for Exxstacy” and “Sheer Erotica” probably won’t take the place of a trip to the psychiatrist any time soon, the effort put forth is noted. It is CDs such as this one that make me think that the “album” format isn’t going away any time soon. Sure, you could download individual tracks from this disc, but in this case, the sum is greater than the parts.

Even though Agoraphobia contains tuned down guitars, listeners will have no trouble distinguishing the difference between Holy Mother and nu-metal. Rockin’ guitars, plenty of kick drums, and wide open vocals establish Agoraphobia as a listenable but overall uninspired power metal album.

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