Sinners Bleed – “Absolution” (War Anthem Records)
Hail to the return of Sinners Bleed! Formed in the late 90s, this German death thrash band soon rose to prominence thanks to their acclaimed debut “From Womb To Tomb”, playing Wacken Open Air, Party San Open Air, Inferno Festival, Fuck The Commerce and sharing stages with the likes of Nile, Cryptopsy, Suffocation, Destruction, Dismember, Vader, Malevolent Creation, Sadus, Misery Index and Holy Moses. Sadly, band and personal issues forced Sinners Bleed to go on a lengthy hiatus, however, 16 years later they have returned with a vengeance on “Absolution War”. Still with the original core of Jan Geidner (vocals), Sebastian Ankert (guitar) and Eric Wenzel (drums), along with new members Arne Maneke (guitar) and Henrik Fuchs (bass), one can appreciate what all the fuss was about given they haven’t lost their touch at all – in fact, they’ve actually gotten nastier! With the blistering sound that brings a real menace atmospherically, the 10 tracks also have plenty of technicality dropped in at just the right moments along with dark and heavy metal melodies to ensure the material is catchy and appealing besides its obvious aggression. Comfortably drawing inspiration from both the old days and modern times, songs like ‘Age Of The Crow’ with its powerful technical drumming and hyperspeed riffola inducing plenty of groove to the twisting, catchy melodies set the tone brilliantly thanks to the massive sound – not forgetting Geidner’s grim, guttural drawls. Hammering on in ‘Dawn Of Infinity’ with the guitars chundering while letting out the occasional squeal, Geidner’s hoarse vocals themselves lend to the odd scream but it’s the slow, unhurried passages that allow the menace of the number to soak uncomfortably into your soul even while the solos bring forth neo classical splendour – terrific. Ending with no mercy on ‘Obedience’ as Geidner’s rough roars match the (over) powering drums threatening to smash your eardrums as the dirty guitars whirr and scythe like dark tornadoes before an excellent heavy headbanging passage resplendent with drum rolls and precision beats keeps you on edge for the racing end of frantic fretboard scaling and cymbal decimation. “Absolution” is a fitting return that begs no forgiveness whatsoever!