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Review: Sinister - Deformation of the Holy Realm
Deformation of the Holy Realm

Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2020
Duration: 44:18
Tracks: 10
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: June 7, 2020
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Readers Rating
Deformation of the Holy Realm

Rated 4/5 (80%) (4 Votes)

There's an undeniable charm in the Dutch death metal scene. Namely, star acts like Asphyx, Thanatos, Ceremony, Soulburn, Pestilence and, of course, Sinister blasted their unique take on the genre in the '90s and carved their name in metal history by allying heaviness, somberness and some original Dutch flavor to one of metal's most prominent and beloved subgenre.

Following the footsteps of the awesome Sincretism (2017) by showcasing a brand of mid-era Behemoth-like aura mixed with some sheer brutality that bands like Malevolent Creation or Morbid Angel are masters of doing, this album actually goes one step further than some of its predecessors: it adds more macabre atmosphere with semi-Gregorian passages and unholy ambience.

"The Funeral March" sets the tone and "Suffering from Immortal Death" rips his way with powerful riffs, and masterful growls by Kloosterwaard, which almost makes for a brutal death track, as Kloosterwaard's vocal lines flirt with pig squeals sometimes, and the bass-drum combo hits nonstop.

Toep Duin is also one of the high points here: his no-frills, non-stop drumming is as organic as it gets when using this much speed, and his blast beats are also worthy of praise, especially in songs with several breaks on the tempo, like "Scourged by Demons".

There is no room to breathe here; every note, every scream and every beat was surgically created to pulverize your speakers and make you want to bang your brains out. Songs like "Apostles of the Weak", "Unbounded Sacrilege" and "The Ominous Truth" are the most visceral here and have been smartly spaced to keep the energy to a maximum, always.

The tremolos, the aura, the blasphemous all reeks of classic Sinister and there are even some odes to early-Dismember, Cryptopsy and Benediction here—all vastly welcomed, if you ask me. You can sense and feel every passage of the record, every instrument can be heard clearly and every performance has been executed to damn-near perfection.

Deformation of the Holy Realm is old-school death metal at its core. Sinister have stepped up their game once again and delivered a profane, vicious throwback to the genre's roots, and showed why experience is always key in metal. Buy this, download it, borrow from someone, I don't care; this is a must-listen experience, and one of the best death metal albums of 2020 so far.

Other related information on the site
Review: Deformation of the Holy Realm (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Legacy of Ashes (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Syncretism (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Carnage Ending (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Post-Apocalyptic Servant (reviewed by MetalMike)
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