It’s funny that I haven’t written many reviews on some of the classic original death metal bands. I guess it’s time to start things up again on one of Sinister’s latest releases, The Silent Howling. Just to let you know, I know Sinister’s music VERY well. If you’re one of those “it’s all about the old school” kind of guys, my favorite Sinister album is Hate, released in 1995. I say that because I write reviews on recent albums released by these really old thrash metal and death metal bands and I get all these conservatives flooding me with the typical “THEY SUCK NOW” bullshit. Yeah, there are bands that aren’t as good as they used to be like Bolt Thrower, Obituary, and Sepultura. But here I am again, reviewing an album released in 2008 by a band who released their debut in 1992.
Sinister has done a pretty good job at keeping up with the constantly evolving death metal sound while still having a strong “old school death metal” vibe. One thing that people notice is that drumming in death metal is MUCH more technical than it used to be. You can see this in Sinister especially when you compare Hate with The Silent Howling. Not only is The Silent Howling much faster and more energetic than Hate, but it’s also more complex and technical. But remember, technicality and speed alone doesn’t mean awesomesauce; there has to be plenty of creativity to back it up. And let me tell you something folks, Sinister has fucking creativity in their music.
Probably what I like most about Sinister is that they’ve managed to gradually evolve their sound over the years, but still have it be all 100% SINISTER. There are a lot of death metal bands nowadays that come out with new albums that sound exactly like the album they released in the early nineties. Of course, there are countless better death metal albums and bands than Sinister, but as far as keeping it all original, Sinister has done one of the best jobs at that.
One thing that I’m starting to notice (I’m preparing to get bombarded) is that the vocalist sound A LOT like the Behemoth vocalist! I’m not kidding! He has that same grunted, forced-out growl that can be heard on Demigod and Evangelion. The drumming could use some more creativity, because although the frequently used blast beats sound cool, he uses the exact same blast beat pattern every time. I like to see it when drummers create their own unique blast beats and keep changing it up every so often to keep things fresh.
The songs don’t all sound identical to the point to where it’s really annoying, but they all have the same general sound. But the band is saved by the fact that the slightly overused sound is a really good sound. On top of these changes, there are a lot more guitar and bass solos than in earlier Sinister albums. So if you’re one of those guys that likes a solo bass riff or a fancy guitar lick here and there; but not to the point where it’s too crazy, The Silent Howling should have a place in your collection. And overall, I would recommend this album to all traditional death metal fans and to people interested in getting into pure traditional death metal. I would give this album 16/20.