Legacy of Ashes

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Dutch death metal band Sinister have been around since the late '80s; their first album, Cross the Styx, was released in 1992. They've been through multiple lineup changes since then; their current vocalist and sole original member, Aad Kloosterwaard, used to be the drummer. He's pretty good, too, with a forceful, guttural roar that puts him solidly in the middle of the death metal pack, somewhere between Deicide's Glen Benton and Napalm Death's Barney Greenway. Behind him, guitarist/bassist Alex Paul and drummer Edwin van den Eeden crank out Slayer and Cannibal Corpse-inspired riffs, with distorted solos piercing the storm of riffs. There's little rhythmic intricacy or surprise here, just blastbeats and occasional slower passages, but Sinister have never been an adventurous band. The question with them is always, can they come up with a good riff while sticking to familiar territory? And on songs like "The Enemy of My Enemy" and the slow-burning, bass-driven title track, they do so. Sinister peaked in the early 2000s, when they had a female vocalist (before Arch Enemy), but this is a solid album that will please longtime fans and death metal fans in general.

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