MINDWARS - The Enemy Within

MindWars - The Enemy Within

11 songs
47:20 minutes
***** **
Punishment 18


Holy Terror may never have known the success of bands like Metallica and Slayer, and they only released two albums in their short career, and yet there are quite a few people, me included, who consider their swan song Mind Wars (1988) as the best speed thrash hybrid of all times. The band never did a full-fledged reunion, and I recently read the sad new that their vocalist Keith Deen died of cancer in 2012.

Fans should rejoice that Mike Alvord is now back with his new band MindWars. He may not have the cult status of Holy Terror founding guitarist Kurt Kilfelt, but at least he played guitar on both albums, which should give him enough credibility and authority to use this band name inspired by his previous bandís last album. The rhythm section consists of two Italian musicians who also have been active in their metal communities for decades.

MindWars are consequently a trio of close-to-fiftyish metalheads with the aim in mind to revive the good, old speed thrash metal sound of the mid- to late-Nineties. One thing that you should not forget is that MindWars are not Holy Terror, even if there are a lot of possibly wanted parallels. Mike Alvord is first of all not the singer that the late Keith Deen has been, and one might also miss the dual guitar attacks that he used to share with Kilfelt. Otherwise the band is tight as tight can be, and switches skilfully between old school speed metal and occasional mid-tempo material. As you can guess, I prefer their faster stuff. Also I canít make up my mind yet if I like or loathe the fact that some parts within songs are copied one-to-one from Holy Terror material. It might be considered lazy and possibly tactless, but maybe it is meant as a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the musiciansí own past.

The songwriting is mostly really good, and frankly I wouldnít have expected anything less from a member of Holy Terror. I canít help feeling a little let down when I compare The Enemy Within to Mind Wars which came out more than a quarter century earlier. But standing on its own, MindWars still managed to create a charming retro speed thrash metal album that should appeal to fans of the pioneer days. Even the cover artwork has this strange dayglo retro futuristic design that was such a big deal in the Eighties.

Back to Reviews