Sunday, November 9, 2014

Chaos Reigns Supreme: A Sister Sin Album Review


Swedish outfit Sister Sin are back on the scene with a brand new release, Black Lotus, which became available on October 27th, 2014.  The band from Gothenburg formed in 2002 and first
came across my radar when they were slated as one of the openers for Doro Pesch's Toronto date in February 2012.  The band have issued four albums to date beginning with Dance of the Wicked in 2003 (re-issued in 2013), Switchblade Serenades in 2008, True Sound of the Underground in 2010 and Now & Forever in 2012.  Since discovery of the band the latter three releases are tops in my collection, portions of them often finding their way into mixes and MP3 players.  I also had the opportunity to interview front woman Liv Jagrell on two separate occasions, with that and having seen them live twice now, I had high expectations for Black Lotus to say the least.

The album reports only nine tracks, a little short by some standards, but the cover artwork defies expectations unlike many of the boring fare offered up these days.  We begin the listening as the
Sister Sin - taken from record label promo kit
album opens up with "Food For Worms", definitely a pace setter letting you know what's to come.  Always known for their old school metal anthem style with Jagrell's piercing vocals and piss and vinegar attitude, they make it apparent in this bludgeoning opener that they're taking no prisoners.  "Chaos Royale" is next up, having served as the first single with the lyric video preceding the album's availability.  The venom and anger is rampant here, making a top formula for great metal as they weigh in on their opinion of other music evidenced in lyrics such as "I'll put an end to all music that sucks / According to my flawless taste / No hipster shit, radio rock, bubblegum DJ pop / Heavy metal all the way, make no fucking mistake" (lyrics taken from Sister Sin's Black Lotus CD inlay).  A sentiment I tend to agree with.  The french language titled "Au Revoir" offers a little more melody and catchy choruses consistent with the fare of the previous recordings.  The longest inclusion on Black Lotus is the near five and a half minute "Desert Queen" that starts out slower paced with a great leading guitar riff before blasting off.  The macabre lyrical subject, the
Sister Sin - taken from record label promo kit
anthem chorus and the clear intensity of Jagrell's vocal prowess may just make this my favorite of Black Lotus.  "Count Me Out" is a consistent headbanger, well crafted with even a little orchestration, do I hear?  "Stones Thrown" blazes the same path, the whole band firing on all cylinders as the heavy metal assault that is Sister Sin continues.  Something a little different appears next with the ballad "The Jinx".  This is some new territory for the band and expands on the experimentation into this area that filled the final track on Now & Forever with "Morning After".  "Ruled By None" ramps up the pace once again leading us to the album's closer of "Sail North".  "Sail North" features a voice sample from the late Eddie Meduza, Jagrell trading vocal duties with guitarist Jimmy Hiltula and another anthemic chorus.  A solid finality to an altogether too short album that holds no filler material whatsoever.

Another awesome addition to the Sister Sin library, an album that gets better with each rotation.  I wouldn't be surprised if Black Lotus finds its way into my top albums of 2014, but the best thing with a new album is the possibility for a new tour.....Toronto please!

The Meister

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