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Review: Sinbreed - IV

Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2018
Duration: 48:25
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.25/5

Review online: November 25, 2018
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Readers Rating

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (6 Votes)

Sinbreed had it all working out for them before their new effort, IV: a unique powerhouse vocalist, inspired riffs and a fresh take on the European Power Metal strand, only to suffer considerable losses since their last output Master Creator (2016) with longtime member—and one of the band's pillars—Herbie Langhans, leaving his post. But new vocalist's Nick Holleman's voice is very, very different than Langhans', being high-pitched, cleaner and somewhat generic for the genre's standards, so naturally the band's modus operandi shifted from an Iron Savior-esque style to an almost by-the-books *insert a melodic Swedish/Finnish band here* kind of sound, which means that some of their uniqueness has been lost forever (or at least until they change vocals again).

"First Under the Sun" and "Falling Down" open the album illustrating exactly that. The entire pace of these songs was tailored to fit Holleman's falsettos and screams, and even the crunchy riffs and powerful drum work by Ehmke were slightly modified to a more frenetic tempo. The melodic choruses and characteristic leads seen here are reproduced throughout the whole effort in some manner, giving you a déjà vu feeling more often than not.

While tracks like "Wasted Trust", "Into the Arena" (which sadly only shares the name with Running Wild's classic tune) and "Pride Strikes" are heavily supported by these elements and kind of get lost in all the frantic, urgent motion, it's when Sinbreed maneuvers to more carefully crafted compositions that they truly shine. "Pale Hearted" and "Final Call" are easily the two best songs here, with Seoane and Laurin masterfully providing lead support with their guitars and Schulz and Ehmke blasting through in the background.

"Pride Strikes," may be one of the most flowery songs of Sinbreed's career. Heavily keyboard-driven, it's an epitome of European Power Metal in all its unicorn-ish, magical glory. It could easily be featured in a Stratovarius album or as an ad for diabetes awareness—get your sword, shield and insulin for this one.

IV is essentially antagonistic to what Sinbreed made in their first three albums: instead of being powerful and imposing, it's pompous and melodic. While the execution instrumental and songwriting-wise are top notch, it bothered me to see that the Germans took a safe, lukewarm road with an OK view over a challenging one with a far better reward at the end, which is what they were doing with Herbie Langhans on the helm; recommended only to hardcore Power Metal fans.

Other related information on the site
Review: IV (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Master Creator (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Master Creator (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Shadows (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: When Worlds Collide (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
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