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Sinner - 2007 Mask Of Sanity

ARTIST: Sinner
ALBUM: Mask Of Sanity
SERIAL: 0681-180
YEAR: 2007


LINEUP: Mat Sinner - vocals, bass * Christof Leim, Tom Naumann - guitars * Frank Roessler - keyboards * Klaus Spurling - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Other Side * 02 Diary Of Evil * 03 Badlands * 04 Black * 05 Thunder Roar * 06 The Sign * 07 Revenge * 08 Under The Gun * 09 Can't Stand The Heat *10 No Return * 11 Last Man Standing * 12 Baby Please Don't Go (Bonus)



This album has been out for a few months already, but the German band Sinner, have been out there for years and years. They've been a changeable band during their career. Yes, mostly typical euro-metal, but on occasion they have sprinkled a little sugar over some of their musical offerings. Enough to take an interest in, but ultimately unfulfilling. That may seem kind of harsh, as there are a few Sinner albums that just might get a pen thrown at it for the purposes of this website. Back to the present: main man Mat Sinner needs no introduction to hard rock and metal fans - particularly in Europe. Currently a member of metallers Primal Fear and Goddess Shiva, he has bought along some of his band-mates to stir things up in the Sinner camp once more, leaving us with a 2007 musical indentation called 'Mask Of Sanity'. Signed to MTM Music, the band have been out of action for a few years.. Perhaps the rustiness is starting to show? No way!! In the hey-days of the 80's and 90's, Sinner were right up there in the German scene alongside Accept and Helloween. Tours with Dio, Savatage and Deep Purple exposed them to large audiences. In 2007, the band have combined elements of their 80's hard rock style with today's modern metal sound - and the production that goes with it.

The Songs
From the outset though, this is melodic hard rock, with more than a hair-toss in the direction of past faves Thin Lizzy. I think this stance is a great choice, and probably half the reason why MTM Music went with the band. Perhaps it isn't so obvious on the opener 'The Other Side', but it is on the second track 'Diary Of Evil'. The superb riffing on 'Badlands' is tremendous. Not far behind is the simply titled 'Black', with twin guitars trading riffs and a subtle (very subtle) layer of keys hiding in the background. One of the best tracks here is the Thin Lizzy sounding 'Thunder Roar', circa their early 80's era. Keeping it tight and riff happy is 'Revenge', but that all changes with the metal-oriented 'Under The Gun',with double bass drums working overtime. 'Can't Stand The Heat' sounds like it could be first-up on their live-set, it's full of energy and is the sort of song to get the crowd going. Every album's gotta have one, and 'No Return' delivers the standard power-ballad, meanwhile 'Last Man Standing' combines retro and modern hard rock to good effect. Some slam-dunk riffs to be found here.

In Summary
The band have never been shy to explore melodic rock territory, as with some of their early album's material. But what gives this album the thumbs up from this reviewer is the excellent guitar work from Naumann and Leimn; the color they provide, along with keyboardist Roessler puts this album rating up a bit higher because of it. Sure, Mat's vocals are still a bit rough around the edges (someone said he was a mix of Biff Byford and Lemmy.. umm yeah!), but in the context of this album, it's fine.. in fact, a few Phil Lynott moments could be detected too, so not all is lost. However, the band are gonna have to compete real hard to go 'head-to-head' with many of the other releases during 2007. 'Mask Of Sanity' is good competent melodic hard rock without the bells and whistles, and in passing, don't let 2007 pass you by without at least giving this album a listen. There are some great moments here.. no doubt.

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#1 | dangerzone on May 05 2007 07:23:54
It seems like all the metal legends have rediscovered their touch lately. Saxon, UDO, Manowar, Megadeth, WASP, Rose Tattoo etc have already set 2007 alight like it's 1983, once again proving who still rules the roost all these years later.

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