Bottom Line

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Heavy metal legends Judas Priest may have taken a reluctant break during the 1990s, but their many disciples across the globe were hard at work, keeping the flame of melodic, high-energy, traditional heavy metal burning brightly in their stead. And if one were to draw up a list of the chief purveyors of post-Priest metal, few bands would rate as highly as German veterans Sinner. Active since the early '80s, the band excels at their craft in terms of honesty and authenticity to the cause -- if not outright commercial success. Anyway, due to its relative unavailability outside of Germany and Japan, 1995's Bottom Line is often overlooked when Sinner's '90s releases are discussed. But that's not without good reason, since, as well as suffering from a slight deficiency in the production department (unlike other efforts, this one was handled exclusively by vocalist/bassist Mat Sinner), most of its tracks lack that certain "oomph" to make them truly exceptional. Even immediate standouts like "The Biggest Lie," "Mercy Killer" and "Hearts of Steel" seem to be missing something, and truly top-notch results are only reserved for a pair of excellent metallic rockers called "When Silence Falls" and "Rage of a Hurricane." Therefore, first time Sinner listeners are encouraged to start with the more consistent (and arguably decade-best) Judgement Day before venturing here, while pre-indoctrinated Sinner fanatics can rest assured that, for them, Bottom Line rolls steady as rock.