Released August 30 in Europe and September 10 in North America via AFM Records.

Frustrated by the mismanagement of his band Sinner’s back catalog by the consecutive labels who have had control, Mat Sinner has taken it upon himself to make new recordings of the best songs of the early years of the band.  A noble initiative, even if he’s not the first to think of it.

I vaguely remember not being overly impressed by the first Sinner album and never really following the band until the mid nineties when their dogged persistence in the face of grunge and nu metal finally made me take notice.

Sinner’s last couple of albums have all been remarkably strong. The band’s melding of solid Germanic metal with Thin Lizzy inspired harmonies and hooks was very enjoyable on albums such as “One Bullet Left” or “Crash & Burn”.

Listening to the songs on this album, and picturing them with slightly more shoddy 80s production, I can see why this didn’t capture my teenage thrash crazed self’s attention.

With the benefit of age however, I can admit there’s plenty to enjoy. The typical Sinner blueprint is there. Sure, the song craft isn’t fully developed yet. Some of the choruses are a bit heavy handed, some of the harmonies a bit forced, but all in all the music speaks for itself. It’s lovingly crafted and, on this occasion, flawlessly executed.

I’m not convinced by their idiosyncratic take on Lizzy’s “Don’t Believe A Word” but at least they gave it a go to make the song their own.

If you like Sinner, this is a good addition to the CD collection. As an introduction to the band, I’d suggest looking into the more recent material first.

Rating – 83%
Review by Sancho



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