METAL FORCES ISSUE 37 MARCH 1989
EXODUS/NUCLEAR ASSAULT/HOLY TERROR
Rolling Stone, Milan, Italy
I’ve got to say that this gig had all the ingredients for turning into a “Fabulous Disaster” itself and considering the trauma’s suffered throughout the day by bands and crew alike, I was very relieved when it had actually got underway.
On arriving mid-afternoon at the Rolling Stone, a seedy but fairly amiable venue close to the centre of Milan, it became apparent that all was not exactly what you would call…er, well. Problem. The truck carrying all the equipment, PA, amps, etc had not yet turned up and as far as I could make out, nobody seemed too sure about its location either. As time drew on faces grew longer and longer, including my own. By now plans were afoot to hire gear locally, an idea not relished by most, but something that looked like becoming a reality and better than not playing at all.
Moving on to the early evening, things were still unchanged and with proceedings meant to commence at 8 o’clock then time was running very short, However, shouts of ‘the truck’s here’ and a general buzz which suddenly spread around the hall, signalled time for a mad panic in order to get the gear in and setup.
Admirably enough, soon after eight, HOLY TERROR broke the strained atmosphere by promptly strolling out onstage and shredding the crowd with their excellent and I think very underrated set of songs and although this was not one of their better shows, it was still well above average. The sound was pretty dismal which was hardly surprising and it was this factor that did most damage to the songs – a lot of them being pretty unintelligible. That said though, HOLY TERROR possess some truly excellent material, particularly tine stuff from most recently, “Mind Wars”, combining interesting and cleverly constructed song structures added to relentless thrash rhythms. “Judas Reward” managed to rise above the messy P.A. sound just long enough to grab tine crowd’s shell-shocked attention before disappearing once again and, alongside “Do Unto Others”, about which vocalist Keith Deen declared “you may like it, or you may not”, were the two standout numbers for me.
That quote from Deen though probably sums up HOLY TERROR, because they are a band whose music needs to be worked at before it can be fully appreciated and they don’t follow any real speed metal clichés. Based around the razor sharp guitar axis of Kurt Kilfelt and Mike Alvord then coupled to the blitzkrieg of the Flanary/Mitchell rhythm section, topped off by the snarling vocals of Keith Deen, who’s more of a shouter than a singer but fits in well all the same, HOLY TERROR have some way to go before they reach their full potential and faced with opening up a show like this, may not have excelled quite as much as they may have wished. I’d like to see this band given a tour of their own ideally, because they have the ingenuity, yet more importantly, the ability to turn into something really special.
After the show I asked Kurt Kilfelt what he thought of the show and the audience? “God, it ruled actually man, it was a really happening crowd. The crowds are real good in Europe, they really go for it, you come over here and it’s like ‘Wow, we’re really somebody’.
What’s happening after this tour? “I think we stop in Frankfurt, after that we’re supposed to play over in the U.K., now l don’t know whether that’s going to happen for sure, I mean, we only got one weeks notice about this and all the posters say other bands are supporting so the promotion’s been nil, it’s the second time we’ve been over here with no promotion, but that first tour was pretty happening too.”