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Sinister - Creative Killings
Review: Trying simultaneously to recapture their peak, the 1996 album Hate, and capture some of the audience that happily purchase Cannibal Corpse and other blasting death metal, Sinister revert by a half-degree from the more populist Aggressive Measures and make a simplified but more coherent death metal album. New vocalist Rachel acquits herself well, although vocals appear processed or pitch-shifted, which gives the music a misplaced "cyber" feel.
Unlike their epic Cross the Styx, this album centers itself on a riff/chorus style with a series of bridges that break flow and detour into brief slices of atmosphere as a counter-argument to the mostly fast, three-chord riffs that provide the basis of verse riffs and in variant, the chorus. This infuses the driving, anthemic, repetitive style of later speed metal like Destruction into the death metal, and while it vastly improves upon their previous work by being focused, its relative emptiness makes these songs sound forced as if adapting to a single riff without enough harmonic context to build a broader experience. Funeral Mist adapted this technique to great use on their first albums; this album may be Sinister's best work since the epic Hate, but it still falls well short into repetitive structures being repeated.