Sinner

Judgement Day

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Though regularly lumped in with the barrage of post-Helloween German power metal bands, Sinner's albums have always been more representative of traditional hard rock and metal, as heard in the early '80s. Indeed, aside from its obvious Judas Priest fixation, the German quintet owes much of its pedigree to compatriots like the Scorpions and Accept -- before Helloween's thrash-styled double kick drums and ear-piercing falsetto vocals took hold and pushed everything to an altogether more frenetic and hysterical level. Well into its second decade, Sinner remains steadfastly committed to its roots, and 1997's impressive Judgement Day opus is no exception, merely updating guitar tones to appropriate distortion levels for the year at hand. Mixed by legendary producer Keith Olsen (Fleetwood Mac, Santana, Foreigner, etc.), the album is strictly 1984, with pounding drums, driving riffs, soaring harmonies, and dive-bombing guitar solos providing the perfect backdrop for Mat Sinner's almost unbearably trite lyrics (remember, nobody cared about lyrics back then). And for those with fond memories of those more innocent (and, OK, sometimes embarrassing) times will appreciate undeniable winners such as the thrusting "Used to the Truth," the epic title track, and the closing, ├╝ber-dramatic power ballad "Streets of Sin."

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