Sinister - Bastard Saints

Production: Clear and bountiful tones without any resonance, a modern type dissonant clean room studio. As each instrument speaks clearly however, there is no issue except with the mixing, which with the usual perversity overemphasizes other elements.

Review: Capitalizing on the success of their previous album Hate, Sinister approach it with an EP comprised of two re-recorded songs from their exalted first album Cross the Styx and two new songs plus introduction in the now-trademark style of Hate, which represented an apex of popularity for this longstanding underground act.

Previously, Sinister's sophomore effort Diabolical Summoning showed a band caught in the grip of artistic potential but slipping dangerously close to irrelevance through indecision regarding style, and thus the voice they would use to make their works; in some ways this EP is reminiscent of that time, when lack of unifying direction reduced songs to a few cool bits of riffs wandering in seas of ashen, contextless chords collapsing on top of one another like shingles of an incompetent roof.


1. Reborn from hatred (:54)
2. Bastard saints (4:38) Heavy metal, death metal, speed metal, doom metal, grindcore or thrash mp3 sample
3. Rebels dome (4:00)
4. Cross the Styx (5:01) Heavy metal, death metal, speed metal, doom metal, grindcore or thrash mp3 sample
5. Epoch of denial (4:15) Heavy metal, death metal, speed metal, doom metal, grindcore or thrash mp3 sample

Length: 18:48

Sinister - Bastard Saints: Death Metal 1996 Sinister

Copyright © 1996 Nuclear Blast

Each of the new songs bears similarities to heavy rotation tracks on Hate if mixed with radio heavy metal, using the abrupt strumming riffs of a death metal band to potentiate rhythm closer to the eternally popular style of Exodus or Exhorder than death metal; by putting the expectation in a riff on a off-time double strum, Sinister achieve a catchy bounciness similar to material in more of a commercial metal vein, like rock and funk which are entirely expectation-driven. Both pieces fashion characteristically abusive mutations of chord progressions into elemental boomerang riffs, and hold together rhythmically where composition falters.

The previously-composed songs from the first album of this Dutch band, "Cross the Styx" and "Epoch of Denial," reveal Sinister trying to adapt their new sonic voice to a previous style of death metal, breaking it down where necessary to keep the rigidity and vocal-dominance of newer stylings to the band -- and on the whole, slowing each track down for comprehensibility. While this CD demonstrates the simple power of this seductive sub-style to the aggressive front of death metal, it becomes fixated on the style and having made that the goal, allows the content to drift closer to boring mainstream rock/metal.