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Sinister - Deformation of the Holy Realm Award winner

Deformation of the Holy Realm
by Martin Knap at 21 May 2020, 5:35 PM

The Dutch Death Metal sound may not be as immediately recognizable as the sound that came form other Death Metal hot spots like Florida, New York, Sweden or Finland, but the number of exceptional bands from there is undeniable. PESTILENCE, ASPHYX, GOREFEST, GOD DETHRONED, the list goes on, and I’m sure that among the lesser known or already disbanded ones you’ll find some amazing gems as well. SINISTER undeniably belongs among the premier Dutch Death Metal bands. They’ve been active pretty much the whole time since 1988, and have a very extensive discography – so far the quintet has thirteen albums under their belt. I’m not familiar with a large part of their discography, but I’ve listened to their early albums, mainly “Hate”, and I’m really fond of their 2017 album “Syncretism”. The band’s current sound is in line with the mean and relentless classic Death Metal sound of bands like DEICIDE or MALEVOLENT CREATION, but updated for the 21st century. Their intensity and punch has something from mid-era BEHEMOTH, the music is very dense and layered, many songs have atmospheric parts or symphonic flourishes, but never at the expense of the heaviness of the music.

SINISTER’s newest LP “Deformation of the Holy Realm“ contains eight middle-length songs (not counting the intro and outro) and is an intense, enthralling ride from start to finish. The somber symphonic intro gives a hint at the grandeur that SINISTER are able to conjure up with their music. First on the album is the title track – a classic SINISTER rager which is super hard from start to finish, only the haunting chorus has a eerie little melodic guitar line. Evocative unison vocal chants are featured in the chorus of “Apostles of the Weak“ or during solos in “Unbounded Sacrilege“.  “Oasis of Piece“ even has a standalone vocal intro. But the chants never drive the music, just help to exalt the emotional impact. All the songs feel dynamic and there is always some kind of cool idea that moves them forward. “Scourged By Demons“ has some fun shifts between blast-beats and uptempo, driving skank-beats.  There is an atmospheric break at the end of the song followed by one epic, layered finale. The closer “The Ominous Truth“ has a very eerie, mid-tempo opening, and gradually builds towards a thunderous climax. Just like some of the symphonic elements, atmospheric parts stand in an interesting contrast with the intensity of the drum and guitar work, so are some of the guitar leads, which can be surprisingly harmonious. Check out the ending of “Unique Death Experience“ for some delightful twin guitar lines and soloing.

I’ve enjoyed this album immensely, it’s masterfully written, hard-hitting and memorable. The guitar work as well as the drumming are awesome, and Aad Kloosterwaard’s trademark vocals, which sound more like a vacuum cleaner then a human also obviously add to the impact of the music. SINISTER know how to create music that feels disquieting and haunting, it feels like a soundtrack to a cataclysmic disaster. Don’t miss it.

Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9
Musicianship: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Funeral March
2. Deformation Of The Holy Realm
3. Apostles Of The Weak
4. Unbounded Sacrilege
5. Unique Death Experience
6. Scourged By Demons
7. Suffering From Immortal Death
8. Oasis Of Peace - Blood From The Chalice
 9. The Ominous Truth
10. Entering The Underworld
Aad Kloosterwaard - Vocals
Toep Duin - Drums
Ghislain van der Stel - Bass
Michał "Grall" Gralak – Guitars
Record Label: Massacre Records


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Edited 30 September 2020

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