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Sinister - The Blood Past
Review: Comprised of all Sinister material smaller than an album leading up to the release of their first CD, The Blood Past is not a retrospective but a collector's and diehard Sinister fan's release, and like the best of those, lets us see this band emerge from the hazy collision of their influences. The titles read like a sestina, because fifteen out of nineteen tracks are the same five songs repeated in different order as they were on the seven inches, EPs and demos included here.
For those touched by the vision of potential in early Sinister, The Blood Past provides an opportunity to watch these songs emerge from the primordial formative state. First, the musicianship improves, and the songs get more distinct; then the composition improves, and the songs hold together more; finally, the sense of aesthetic and artistry improves, and the moods and dark theatre emanate from songs that previously lacked it. At that point, the songs are essentially as they were on Cross the Styx, but it is rewarding to see them evolve along with the skills of their creators.
Like early Sinister, these songs inhabit a twilit zone between old school death metal, the new wave of Suffocation-inspired brutal metal, and the technical death metal like Pestilence or Atheist that used complex guitar rhythms and evolving, motif-driven structures to make a new way of writing music. As the songs mature, these three elements join into a single voice, one that can easily balance a sense of the raw feral id of humanity within a logical framework of mathematically-derived tempi and architectural phrase. This CD is a fascinating viewport into the history of death metal.