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Sinister - Hate
Review: As death metal dropped in popularity under the rising black metal movement, Sinister took the time to experiment with a hybrid of brutal deathgrind and the harmonically-centered melodic compositions that defined European metal. As was the case with Suffocation, rhythms echo the intent of speed metal and merge it to a Florida-heavy band with the precision of many European epic outfits, crafting clean melodic lines and an intricate meshing of rhythms which suggests an elaborate manifesto of hatred.
Rhythmically picked lead patterns build to powerchords of either the resonant low end or the harmonizing properties of upper-degree chords; as bassist Bart has taken over guitar, he adds new chord shapes in a somewhat unconventional way, giving the areas between buffeting muted strum a lushness and polydirectionality. The raw and charging power of thundering fretruns meets arrangements which pit accumulated potential energy against absorptive negativity summoned through ambiguous dissonance or abrupt, chromatic explosions of unrelenting terse intonations of power chord, reverberating in the grinding melodic nullity of their attack.
Repetition, tempered by an inventive sense of contrast and epic confrontations in riffing, defines how this album pushes the limit between American-style football death metal and the shuddering, stalwart attackers that bands like Seance, Morgoth and Grave flung forth from the European continent. Although many songs sound veritably taped together in their hasty re-use of themes, the craft of songwriting is such that the repetition becomes an artistic device instead of a default. Combined with dramatic tempo and tonal changes, its textures suggest conflict, continuity and ending of the experience through their inclination toward resolving the essential thematic wounds of each piece.
What further propels this album is the cumulative stress and lust for release contributed by the intensity with which themes become inexorable, dominant and terrifying, the perception common to metal of a world coming apart in thunderous disharmony. In the same way that Deicide albums would knead their listeners into their chairs or straightjackets, the later works of Sinister beat on any hope of sonic equilibrium with a capricious and beautifully abstracted violence. Given a chance, this band took a risk and made a far-reaching statement received gratefully by headbangers worldwide.