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Liv Sin – Burning Sermons

Liv Sin
Burning Sermons
by Rachel Montgomery at 16 October 2019, 4:51 PM

LIV SIN is a band formed by the legendary Liv Jagrell after the breakup of SISTER SIN. This is their second album since their 2017 debut “Follow Me.” It’s a melodic journey dressed up as Post-Grunge Hard Rock that people who like more mainstream Metal may enjoy. However, while the songs on their own are solid, the similar sound throughout can wear on the listener through the album. Despite this, the songs are strong, and I would love to hear them in a mix.

Blood Moon Fever” begins with a short piano chord before launching into intense symphonics. The gravelly, contralto singer goes well with the heavier, grittier style of the song. While it’s clearly symphonic, it feels more like a traditional Hard Rock or Heavy Metal anthem which will appeal to people who might not be fans of the genre otherwise. The one downside I can hear is that it feels like a 1980s dance album like GHOST’s latest album.

Chapter of the Witch” has a distinct NWBHM vibe in the riff. It reminds me of faster JUDAS PRIEST songs at first. I enjoyed how the verses go from straight Thrash or Speed Metal riffs to a soaring melody in the chorus, and then explodes in intensity when the song drops the title. The variation in the melody makes this song a powerful ride.

Hope Begins to Fade” is an anthemic march, compounded by the chanting elements in the chorus. It’s a different feel than the last two songs, keeping the album sounding fresh. The drums in the verses give it passion. Like the last two songs, it has a 1980s flair, especially when the guitars sound high-pitched.

War Antidote” starts out as another anthemic march, punctured by drum rolls in the intro. There’s a tone shift in the first verse from a slow, marching intro to a faster, thrashing song. After the intro, it’s a solid song that stands out from the rest with its own style. However, the tone matched the rest of the album.

At the Gates of the Abyss” roars in with a rumbling guitar, simple lyrics and a guitar that trudges along through the verses. It reminds me of a HALESTORM track: the song, like the songs before it, has a gravelly bite to it that beings an element of grunginess over the Symphonic Metal foundation.

Slave to the Machine” sounds like a combination of the two songs before it: it was anthemic, but also melodic. At this point in the album, the songs are becoming the same. While they have their own flavor, the tempo remains the same, either mid-tempo or fast, and the songs all have a mix of Grunge and melodic elements which are awesome on their own but are bleeding into one another as the songs march on.

The Sinner” isn’t an exception either. While it’s a solid song, it has the same tone as the rest before it. It’s short, hard-hitting and melodic. Notably, the refrain has some interesting choral elements and the piano in the outro are snappy progressive elements that make the song stand out.

I thought that “Death Gives Life Meaning” was going to be their slow song with the intro. Instead, it builds into a swaying, soaring melody. However, it follows the tone of the rest of the album so strongly that it’s hard for me to pick out noteworthy elements. Same with the next track, “Ghost in the Dark” is the closest thing to a slow song the album has on it. The tempo is slower, but it’s no less intense than the rest of the songs on the album.

The closing track, “Dead Wind Intermezzo” is a fist-pumping song with chanting, choral elements and Thrash elements that are thrown together in a conclusion that, again, has the same tone as the rest of the song. I would say this one is more melodic with the string elements coming from the synth. It’s a strong conclusion despite the uniform tone, using some variety in the melody to stand out from the pack.

Overall, the songs are punchy, well-produced and great to rock out to. However, I would recommend listening to the songs in a mix and not listening to the album in one sitting. All the tracks have a similar vibe and there’s not a lot of variety. If you’re more into mainstream Rock, this would definitely be a band worth checking out.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Blood Moon Fever
2. Chapter of the Witch
3. Hope Begins to Fade
4. War Antidote
5. At the Gates of the Abyss
6. Slave to the Machine
7. The Sinner
8. Death Gives Life Meaning
9. Ghost in the Dark
10. Dead Wind Intermezzo
Lineup:
Liv Jagrell – Vocals
Patrick Ankermark – Guitars
Chris Bertzell – Guitars
Tommie Winther – Bass
Emil Nödtveidt – Session Drums
Per Bjelovuk – Session Drums
Record Label: Despotz Records
     


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