|Review: Sinister Realm - Sinister Realm|
Label: Shadow Kingdom Records
Year released: 2009
Review online: December 20, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (24 Votes)
Sinister Realm are another great retro find by Tim at Shadow Kingdom Records, a US band playing an old-school hybridization of classic Doom and US Heavy Metal. Drawing on influences that start with Black Sabbath and lead through Stormwitch, Cirith Ungol, and Omen, Sinister Realm have carved out a very cool debut.
This is very bare-bones metal, with an analog guitar sound that I do wish had some more bite to it, as it is a bit soft-edged for the dark imagery of the lyrics. The riffs on this thing are pretty good, but very few of them are awesome, and they tend to get repeated a lot more than they should. Vocalist Alex Kristof has a strong, muscular voice that carries enough edge to give this some teeth and make up for the rather weak guitars. If you like this sort of retro Doom band then you have heard a lot of these riffs before, as they are pretty cliché for the style. "The Demon Seed" stands out as the best song here, with a faster pace and a really catchy chorus. "Mongol Horde" kicks up some dust as well, but a lot of the songs here are just a bit above average, and they don't have enough going on to sustain interest. This band has the right idea, and they definitely bear watching, but this album wastes more potential than it realizes. With a heavier guitar sound and a rawer, harder production job all around, Sinister Realm could produce some awesome shit in the future.
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