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Why Sabina Classen of the Band Holy Moses Is Great for Thrash Metal

Updated on November 8, 2017
Sabina Classen the main voice behind Germany's Holy Moses.
Sabina Classen the main voice behind Germany's Holy Moses. | Source

Why Sabina Classen Is So Great

Sabina Classen is one of the most famous thrash metal singers in the world and deserves lots of love for her talent and courage. She does not follow trends and she is not willing to be a sell-out just to make more money and be more popular. Because I have such admiration, respect, and love for her work, a biography is necessary. But this written piece will focus on how she has furthered her career up until the band’s 2008 album Agony of Death. By this point in the band’s career, they had broken up and gone on a hiatus, but they were trying to compete with bands like Sodom, Kreator, and Destruction. Germany is such a hotbed for thrash metal, but the fact that Sabina has lasted so long and not given up shows her courage and dedication, particularly after her divorce from guitarist Andy Classen in 1994.

Sabina's Vocal Style in the 1980s and 1990s

In the 1980s and especially the 1990s, Sabina Classen's voice was more high-pitched and really fit the time period. By 1990, the band slowed their tempo, with songs such as "Diabolical Plot," which has a really terrific bass line! Uli Kusch also left his mark on Holy Moses before leaving to join the band Helloween in 1993.

How Does Agony of Death Compare to the Band's Earlier Works?

But let’s address the album Agony of Death first and how good it is compared to their other previous works. "Imagination" starts with some creative atmospheric guitar work before the speed and Sabina’s voice kicks in. "Alienation," though is the song that is one of the highlights of the album. This song describes what happens when human beings become alienated from each other. Their souls become shattered, their minds get destroyed, and recovery becomes very difficult.

Agony of Death has one thing in common with the band’s previous work, Strength, Power, Will Passion (2005.) Sabina still has a tendency to use those death metal style growls. She varies her voice, which is a major asset in the music business. She has come a long way since the band’s 1987 album Finished With the Dogs. In that album, Sabina features a more screeching kind of style to her voice. The song "World of Darkness" is about a world that is surrounded by darkness and evil with humans feeling like they are dying on the inside. "Bloodbound of the Damned" has a guitar part that is similar to Tankard’s song "Ice-Olation." Tankard is another German thrash band from the early '80s, and their lyrics deal mostly with beer, partying, and political themes.

The Lyrical Themes of Holy Moses

Holy Moses tends to have lyrics which focus on the effects of war and how the world has become corrupted by darkness, human isolation, and human selfishness. Think back to 2002’s Disorder of the Order where the band had songs like We are At War and the very catchy 1,000 Lies. Wars are started because of human greed and the need to expand their influence in the world and be better than others. And no human can be honest all the time. The band really addresses the many flaws of human nature and it is my hope that this can serve as something educational that will only expand and open up lots of minds.

The Amazing Song Current of Death

Why Holy Moses and Sabina Classen Are Successful

The success of Holy Moses also has to do with the character of the German people. Germans are a very hard-working and industrious group of people that always focus on making the highest quality products. And these efforts show in their musicians as well! Angela Gossow may have become more popular because of her time spent with Arch Enemy. However, Sabina should be given credit as well because she can do a high screeching kind of voice, a regular thrash metal kind of voice and she can do death metal style grunts as well. She is a very well-rounded vocalist. As we progress through the album, Schizophrenia has some Iron Maiden influenced guitar work in it. Holy Moses was formed back in 1980 a full five years after the formation of Iron Maiden so it makes sense that they would be influenced by them. Holy Moses also covers the subject of mental disorders as well. One example of this is the song Dissociative Disorder. The song is about someone that has become separated from the reality of the world and their judgement is impaired and they cannot think straight. This is what happens when the mind breaks down. Holy Moses is a band that should not disappoint the true metal fans. Sabina sings from her heart with passion and aggression which is really important. She is now 53 years old and she is singing in a style of music that requires LOTS of maintenance and training. She has done so well particularly in songs such as Diabolical Plot from the 1990 album World Chaos.

The Greatness of Sabina Classen

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Sabina Classen on Holy Moses' 30th Anniversary in 2011

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How Does Sabina Classen Compare to Other Female Heavy Metal Vocalists?

Your question might now be how does Sabina Classen compare to some of the other female vocalists in the genre of metal? I already briefly mentioned how she compares to Angela Gossow. Sabina’s voice is rougher and more aggressive compared to Helen Vogt of Flowing Tears. Helen has a deeper voice though. And Tanya Kemppainen and Tanja Lainio are different as well. The first Tanya has a combination of softer and more exciting vocals. Tanja Lainio has a more soothing kind of voice. So these women are different in style but still valuable to the scene in their own way. Sabina Classen is also an attractive woman even in her 50's! For those of you that want to listen to a thrash metal vocalist that has feeling, aggression and is exciting, look no further than Germany's Sabina Classen!

"Diabolical Plot"

"Alienation"

Favorite Holy Moses Album

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"Angel Cry" (2005)

© 2017 Ara Vahanian

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    • CELEBSFAN78 profile image
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      Ara Vahanian 7 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Barry stjohn:

      Finished With the Dogs is considered by many fans to be their best album. That is what I have heard. I am amazed and impressed at the comments that are starting to come in. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about one of the best female vocalists ever.

      Asmodi: The New Machine of Liechtenstein is also pretty good. If you get a chance, make sure to listen to Strength, Power, Passion as well. Thanks for your comment!

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      Barry stjohn 7 months ago

      My True Queen of Metal.

      Favourite album.....Errrr, The album that got me into the band in the first place......FINISHED WITH THE DOGS.

      It still is one of my favourite albums of all time.

      Long live Sabina & Holy Moses.

      Now, please play Wacken this year........will you???

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      Alex 7 months ago

      Asmodi,you're bloody right! New Machine is a eternal source of thrash.

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      Asmodi 7 months ago

      Cannot vote for their best Album. The New Machine of Liechtenstein. Holy Moses is a blast. I also like Sabinas Temple of the Absurd- Stuff.