Death Metal Underground

Sinister – The Post-Apocalyptic Servant

by Aaron Lynn
May 28, 2014 –

sinister-the_post-apocalyptic_servant

Dutch death metallers Sinister return in 2014 with The Post-Apocalyptic Servant. Sinister is a band most notable for the classic death metal offering Cross the Styx which wielded basic yet effective death metal. The quality of their releases waned since that time and after their ’98 effort Aggressive Measures, the flame became an ember (as is the common fate of early death metal bands).

Twenty one years after their debut, Sinister progresses their decline with this album. The riffs — while intense and biting — lack context, making the songs bland and disingenuous. This is an album of “moments”: no song on this album is good in its entirety, but certain details stand out. This isn’t the musical journey that death metal is supposed to convey; this is an exhibit of a handful of decent riffs spread out over the course of an underwhelming ten track album. Even their cover of “Fall From Grace” is lackluster and forced. It’s also an album that gets progressively worse as it plays through, like a runner sinking in quicksand.

The production is just as unsatisfying as the album itself. Completely synthetic and somewhat reminiscent of modern tech-death bands with the only trace of atmosphere emanating from the leitmotif at the beginning and end of the album. Everything else sounds like it was put together in a factory with some spare parts laying around. The result is an album that does not hold up. Memorable riffs without structures that could give them the life they need create a vicious, but not captivating, attempt at a comeback.

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29 comments

    1. fenrir

      “Boring”? oh, then surely you are right.

      I rather enjoyed Cross the Styx much more than Hate. But I am a person who takes delight in details and coherent music that develops.

      Arguing what you enjoyed more and what is more boring does not make any point. I like this you like that. Useless. Read the article again and try to learn something from the way albums are digested in this site.

      1. trystero

        Sorry, missing Hate is a pretty big faux pas. By the standards of this site. This article seems to imply a gradual decline, which is misleading. The early history of Sinister is one of experimentation and lineup changes with peaks and troughs. Personally I like Cross the Styx more too but it’s really close, Hate is a fine, fine album. One of the best death metal albums.

      2. trystero

        Also please don’t turn into a lecturing zealot man. I like you, but it happens to a lot of guys who discover this website and are of a certain persuasion. I thought that was a temporary thing but there’s some guy making a fool of himself on metal-archives right now with half-page rants about art and aesthetics so I guess it still happens.

        1. fenrir

          I’m just saying none of you have made any real point. Accusing something of “boring” doesn’t really say much. Like I said I find Hate much more “boring” than “Cross the Styx”. But I wouldn’t say Hate is worse because of that.

        2. fenrir

          BTW, what do I have anything to do with any metal-archives guy? XD

          I’ve seen fenrirs and fenrises and other variations of the name elsewhere. Not me XD I do not publish for any blog, I’m just your average user at DMU who comments here. I’m only fenrir at DMU.

          Btw, if there is a guy doing rants about art and aesthetics, what’s wrong with that? Metalheads could do with some education. The ones who are interested. I am glad I found that at DMU. I wanted Metal to have that from a long time before I found DMU. Too much willing ignorance and stupidity in popular music (including metal) in general.
          I enjoy the hammering Metal Archives reviewers that really do make sense.

          1. trystero

            Sorry I didn’t mean to imply it was you, re-reading that it seems to come across that way. It’s just obviously some guy who read a lot of ANUS and now has the embarassing zeal of the newly converted. I know pretty much everyone here is chill, but impressions count and coming across as highly strung is… not good.

      3. Tralf

        Prozak has called Hate a ‘mastery’ of the percussive death metal style. Not to mention the dla review, which levels criticisms at the album but overall tone is that of praise. Besides, DMU isn’t a competition to see who can mimic Brett Stevens taste in metal most closely. I think he would rather have his readers think for themselves and develope their own taste by thinking critically about metal and its philosophy instead of simply regurgitating his views.

        I happen to find hate more atmospherically rich and more inventive in its implementaTion of melody. It’s like deicides Legion infused with a ‘sinister’ sense of melody

                1. Gutterboy

                  Spinoza Ray Prozak is NOT Bret Stevens!!!
                  Some people even say that Jeff Tandy from Averse SEfira and Brett Stevens is the same person. Only he can clarify the issue. Prozak was a little leftist if I recall him correctly.

                  1. Aaron Lynn

                    Sarcastically leftist. There was a Prozak on Facebook who was the admin of the Dark Legions Archive Facebook page, but he changed his name to Brett Stevens, who also has a personal account that is more focused on the Amerika.org stuff. There are two Brett Stevens on Facebook, one is more metal-oriented (the one who’s name was changed from Prozak), the other more focused on Amerika.

        1. fenrir

          Man, I just happen to agree with Prozak. Fuck…
          Actually all this time I thought he preferred Hate!
          I was actually surprised when I read this review and found that he actually coincides with me in this opinion.
          Again, any of you fails to make any real point besides “this shit is boring”.

  • Doug Vance

    Whereas Hate seems impossibly profound and almost requiring some kind of divine intervention to compose, this sounds like it very well may have been generated rather than composed and is yet another black eye for modern metal. One may respond “well okay then fuck you,” and no I wouldn’t rather have metal legends bagging my groceries but I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut simply for how mind warpingly unexpected it is that such blockheaded metal is being produced and consumed after over 20 years.

  • Raffs

    You guys are all nuts. Afterburner, The Silent Howling & The Carnage Ending are all stellar albums. This new effort is impressive also. I’ll take Sinister over most DM bands most days?

      1. Rafts

        That’s a rather odd metric: an album can only be considered good when compared to the band’s previous material and not on its own merit. Sure it’s not as good, but it’s a solid album and far better produced.