Dutch death metal act Sinister ensures its continuity as they unleash their 14th album to date. Formed in 1988 in Schiedam, south of Holland, the band has gone through characteristic sound mutations throughout the years. This divided their discography into several timelines with the former drummer and the present vocalist, Aad Kloosterwaard, as the only original member left in the band. After 1995 Sinister began a transitional era and shifted away from the classic, old school death metal style during which they released a number of albums like ‘Aggressive Measures’, ‘Afterburner‘ and ‘The Silent Howling‘. These albums retained a new trend of brutality and since then they continued to maintain this as their signature sound. While still being recognized as one of the veteran death metal bands to hail from the Netherlands beside Asphyx, Thanatos and Pestilence. Sinister‘s latest studio album incorporates some refreshing elements into the music with a lineup that features Toep Duin on drums, Michal Grall on guitars, Ghislain Van der Stel on bass guitar and Walter Tjwa on guitars.
‘Deformation of the Holy Realm’ is defined by its varied approach to the realms of brutal death metal. What has been installed here goes beyond the works of the previous albums such as ‘The Carnage Ending’, ‘The Post-Apocalyptic Servant‘ and ‘Syncretism‘. In fact, mastermind Aad Kloosterwaard and his fellow mates have blended some cinematic pieces that can be found in the album intro. Rather than unleashing the familiar traits, Sinister opted to bring something different this time. The embodiment of the sheer aggression and brutality is displayed on the following track, ‘Deformation of the Holy Realm‘. Sinister meticulously blends the orchestral elements as the music feels more balanced between the overall brutalities. A big share of the music is demonstrated by giving the instrumentation some moments to shine within the songs.
Hence the songs shift from strength to strenghth towards a relentlessly carried out, brutal climax. ‘Apostles of the Weak’ crosses between the orchestral moments and a demonic adaptation of modern death metal. As a result of these fine elements, there is a tremendous amount of dynamics concerning the hellish guitar riffs. The growls are demonic, guttural and empower the tone of the music, making the song more accessible and varied. However, there are several other tracks like ‘Unbounded Sacrilege’ that provide a range of dynamic compositions. Sinister on the latest album made some adjustments: the excessive force of brutality is still present, but they’re on a par with the tempo. Therefore, you will likely come across a new mindset that has never been present on the past albums. The concentration is achieved by giving the guitars and melodies more domain to shine.
This doesn’t mean that Sinister has tolerated overt aggression. ‘Deformation of the Holy Realm‘ is built upon new boundaries that allow the songs to sound accessible. The guitars and the drums take the possession of contributing to the song structure. The drums stir the motion and accelerate from up-tempo beats to the conquering force of the blast beats, while the guitars’ powerful role is focused upon making each track more characteristic. ‘Unique Death Experience‘ is amongst the highlights of the album where the band blends the melodies, as you will hear some catchy solos.
‘Scourged by Demons’ proceeds immediately towards brutality as the band captures a swift momentum. No matter how Sinister alters the pacing, there’s just an incredible tonality possessed by the infernal riffs. The drums are predominantly active, organic and display the signature sound of the band. On top of that Sinister wisely uses the symphonic pieces. ‘Suffering from Immortal Death‘ begins with an ominous symphony, whereas the guitars and the drums thunder loudly.
The massive pummeling gives you a sense of diabolical fury. There is also a significant shift in pace. ‘Oasis of peace – Blood from the Chalice’ is similar to the previous song and begins with a cinematic choral. The frequent switches to solos are followed by catchy melodic sections. Simultaneously, Sinister increases the tempo to maintain the violent mode. The band has outlined its 14th album with the overall execution of the musical arrangements and the hybrid utilization of the symphonies and the melodies.
‘Deformation of the Holy Realm’ isn’t necessarily a fundamental change in sound. Rather it breaks the rules of the band’s old clichés and offers enough diversity to differentiate the album from past studio efforts. Recommended for fans of Deicide, Hate Eternal and Vital Remains.
Release Date: 29th, May 2020
Label: Massacre Records
- The Funeral March
- Deformation of the Holy Realm
- Apostles of the Weak
- Unbounded Sacrilege
- Unique Death Experience
- Scourged by Demons
- Suffering from Immortal Death
- Oasis of Peace – Blood from the Chalice
- The Ominous Truth
- Entering the Underworld