Sinister - _Afterburner_
(Nuclear Blast, 2006)
by: Jackie Smit (8 out of 10)
Like their labelmates in Kataklysm, Sinster's story is a tale with many twists, and a number of unfortunate forays into underachievement. Once a band who were arguably battling it out at the frontlines of the European death metal charge, the departure of vocalist Mike in 1997 proved to be a turning point of sorts for the band. Where albums like _Hate_ and _Diabolical Summoning_ had excelled as exercises in rabid, unyielding extremity, subsequent efforts lacked the impact; and by the time the band announced their dissolution in 2003, they had all but become synonymous with the rest of the genre's throwaway acts.

Thankfully, this is not the case with _Afterburner_. With their former frontwoman Rachel now out of the picture and the band's erstwhile drummer Aad manning the vocal booth, Sinister's comeback record is a return to form in every sense of the word. Unlike 2003's _Savage or Grace_ -- a record that had neither the songs nor the production to be anything but mediocre -- the likes of "Altruistic Suicide", "Men Down" and "Into Submission" are sprawling, aggressive beasts, bristling with atmosphere and riffery that casts a courteous glance to the old school, but almost always hits the mark dead on.

It's true that not all of the album's fourty five minutes is as stunning as its finest moments, and although it's generally an excellent album, it does not quite hit the same creative peaks of the band's first three full-lengths. When it comes to return efforts though, this is most definitely one of the genre's more convincing.


(article published 17/2/2006)

1/14/2002 A Bromley Sinister: Creative Brutality Unleashed
3/16/1997 S Hoeltzel Sinister: Across the Styx and Back
9/17/2008 J Smit 6.5 Sinister - The Silent Howling
6/27/2003 X Hoose 7 Sinister - Savage or Grace
1/14/2002 A McKay 7.5 Sinister - Creative Killings
2/13/1999 P Schwarz 7 Sinister - Aggressive Measures
10/11/1996 A Wasylyk 7 Sinister - Bastard Saints
9/2/1995 G Filicetti 7 Sinister - Hate
5/13/2001 M Noll Marduk / Mortician / Vader / God Dethroned / Amon Amarth / Mystic Circle / Sinister / ...And Oceans / Bal Sagoth Baptized by Fire and Beer
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