Aggressive, forceful and hard-hitting, in-your-face metal seem to be the trademarks of MTM recording artists SINNER. With the exception of lead vocalist & bassist Mat Sinner, the German based band has gone through many variations since its formation back in the early-80's and have released upwards of fourteen studio albums. Now, along with Sinner, the latest incarnation of SINNER consists of dueling guitarists Tom Naumann and Christof Leim(ex-TRACEELORDS), keyboardist Frank Rossler, and thundering drummer Klaus Sperling(ex-PRIMAL FEAR) who have joined forces to produce the bands latest release "Mask of Sanity."
Now I know I am going to catch a lot of shit for this & especially with all the hype and promotional backing behind this release, but I just don't get it. I am not saying it's BAD, but it just doesn't seem to be anything special to me. Having heard some of their prior releases, I can see where the band was trying to go with this & but trying to add more melodic harmonies to their aggressive style and Sinner's raspy, growling vocals just doesn't seem to fit. You'll see what I mean after you hear a track like "Thunder Roar" where I found the vocals harmonies so terribly out of sync that it's almost painful to listen to.
But...as I said, this is NOT a complete 'slam' on the band or the album. Some of the highlights include "Badlands," "Revenge," "No Return," and clearly the best track on the release "Diary of Evil." It won't take you long to realize just how much "Mask of Sanity" seems to be influenced by the likes of DEEP PURPLE and THIN LIZZY as Sinner attempts his best Phil Lynott impersonation throughout the release. Hell, they even attempt the THIN LIZZY classic "Baby Please Don't Go"! But even this is not enough to make this anything more than a 'typical' German-Metal style release.
Of course, and as with most SINNER releases, there are ample undertones in the song-writing style of ACCEPT as well as 'hints' of PRIMAL FEAR in the music itself. But now that SINNER seems to have its share of ex and current members of PRIMAL FEAR, that's only to be expected. What I think, though, is that fans of either band will find "Mask Of Sanity" falling short as far as the strength, power and production behind their likes. PRIMAL FEAR alone is just on a whole other level of musical brilliance.
Is "Mask of Sanity" a BAD album or is SINNER a BAD band? No...they're just nothing special. If you're a fan of SINNER or ACCEPT, you definitely might want to give this one a whirl. But if you're looking for something to jump out of your speakers and really impress the Hell out of you...look elsewhere. On this release, SINNER is just your typical German-Metal style band...nothing more and nothing less.
- Mat Sinner - Vocals, Bass
- Tom Naumann - Guitars
- Frank Rossler - Keyboards
- Christof Leim - Guitars
- Klaus Sperling - Drums
- The Other Side
- Diary Of Evil
- Thunder Roar
- The Sign
- Under The Gun
- Can't Stand The Heat
- No Return
- Last Man Standing
- Baby Please Don't Go (Bonus track)
- Diary Of Evil (Bonus Video Track)