Review: Sinner “Santa Muerte” [AFM Records]

Review: Sinner “Santa Muerte” [AFM Records]

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Sinner, which can be considered nowadays as Mat Sinner’s solo project, plays Teutonic Heavy Metal since 1980. The band released 18 albums, changed the line-up countless times and never stopped experimenting in such narrow and rigid framework of the genre. And here we got the band’s 19th album Santa Muerte that also have something to surprise the listeners.

For the many years lots of famous musicians played in Sinner, such as Herman Frank, Andy Susemihl (U.D.O., Accept) and Uli Kusch (Helloween, Gamma Ray, Masterplan). Santa Muerte also isn’t an exception, but we’ll talk about it later.

The main and the most important line-up change is the vocalist Giorgia Colleluori from Eternal Idol. “I’d first noticed Giorgia in her own band, Eternal Idol, that’s why we enlisted her as background vocalist for Rock Meets Classic, – tells Mat. – During that tour it transpired that Giorgia would fit in really well with Sinner. So, we asked her to join us on stage for three classics during a number of shoes in Australia, Japan and Germany. The audience’s reactions were awesome, so we decided to ask her to join the band on a permanent basis.” That was really good choice indeed: Giorgia has powerful but with this feminine and very charismatic vocal. You can especially notice this on a contrast between heavy “Lucky 13” and bluesy “Death Letter”. Mat himself said about it also: “Colleluori’s vocal range has lent a new dimension for Sinner’s current songs in particular, a dimension that I wouldn’t have been able to achieve by myself.”

Musically, Santa Muerte sounds quite diverse: we got Teutonic Heavy Metal (“Last Exit Hell”, “The Wolf”) and Hard Rock (“Shine On”, “Craving”, “Fiesta Y Copas”) here. Also there is a great blues “Death Letter”, a cover for an old song from 30s, where Giorgia shows all her charisma; together with acoustic riff and great solo we got a good blues-rock number, which you want to listen to again and again (better with a glass of crappy whiskey in some dusty bar. “Misty Mountain” can be called a ballad because of its slow tempo, but for its structure it’s rather an early Heavy Metal. And of course, “The Ballad Of Jack” should be mentioned: the song that will hardly get out of your head for a long time, which you start to sing alone almost immediately. By the way, don’t let the word “ballad” confuse you, this song sounds very perky.

Sinner‘s albums recorded without guest musicians is a very rare thing, so let’s talk about them a little. This time on Santa Muerte can be heard such vocalists like Ricky Warwick (Thin Lizzy, Black Star Riders), Ronnie Romero (Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow) and guitarist Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear, Allen/Lande). A little bit melancholic Ricky Warwick’s vocal presents at smooth “What Went Wrong” with some Irish notes. Ronnie Romero in “Fiesta Y Copas” delivers much more emotions. And Magnus Karlsson’s guitar work in “Death Letter” is off the charts.

To sum up, Santa Muerte sounds really perky and isn’t boring at all, despite its oldschool sound. And I think this is the main reason for calling it a good album.

Santa Muerte was released on September, 13 via AFM Records.

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