In which American metal veteran Mike Tirelli – an alumnus of Jack Starr’s Burning Starr and Riot, in case you need a confirmation of pedigree – continues his one-man Crusade to keep the spirit of true metal alive, at the same time celebrating the life and career of Holy Mother‘s co-founder, Randy Coven, who sadly passed away in 2003…

This is Holy Mother’s seventh full length album, and to be honest I’m struggling to think of one that I’ve enjoyed as much as a front-to-back body of work as this one. Cancer survivor Tirelli is fifty eight now, and you can hear every second of that well-lived live in his voice; But miraculously, defying illness, the ageing process and the Good Lord knows what else, that voice sounds as powerful today as it ever has. His vocals on the third track here, Jeremiah, are, in a word, Dioesque. And if there’s a higher level of praise in the Sentinel Daily lexicon then I’ve yet to find it!

Occasionally the band dip their toes into slightly more ‘modern’ sounds; But the overall feel here is unabashedly traditional. That means, of course, mountainous riffs, choruses that stay in your mind long after the songs that house them have drifted off into the ether, and solos for days. The best track here, Power, contains all of these things, and more besides. It’s a one-song festival of metal, and I’m loving it!

Tirelli is an underrated vocal powerhouse who – to this reviewer’s mind at least – has not received the praise and reward his undoubted talent has deserved down the years. Every single song here, whatever style the band employs, underlines that fact. There are no weak spots to be found anywhere on Rise. If you love simple songs spectacularly played and sung for maximum impact, you need this album to be your next purchase!

Rise is out now.