SISTER SIN – Black Lotus (2014)
Scandinavian female fronted metal warriors SISTER SIN return this fall with their fifth studio effort, “Black Lotus“, to be released next Monday. The new record finds the band churning up the same old-school metal / hard rock blood that pumped through its first albums, but continues its progression toward a heavier yet more melodic style.
The Swedish quartet, featuring vocalist Liv Jagrell, guitarist Jimmy Hiltula, bassist Strandh, and drummer Dave Sundberg, has recorded what is arguably their best and most cohesive effort to date. The follow-up to 2012’s highly successful, Now and Forever album, finds Sister Sin sharpening its collective songwriting chops.
There is nothing boldly new on “Black Lotus”; Sister Sin has just turned it all up a notch.
If you have a problem with F-bombs and confident attitudes, don’t look here, for Jagrell and company are not known for holding tongues or pulling punches.
“Black Lotus” is in your face from the opening riffs of “Food for Worms”, a song that revs the engine and propels the album off to a quick and heavy start. The band’s disdain for government powers add bite to Jagrell’s usual snarling attack. Sundberg sneaks in some nice military drum fills to give the track added dimension. Hiltula and Strandh keep the song compelling with their assailing rhythms. A tasty bit of meat to kickstart the record.
The album’s first single “Chaos Royale” keeps the momentum moving as the band takes aim at the judgmental control freaks of the world. The song has a fantastic swing to it that blitzes the listener, and Hiltula’s riffs power the catchy melody line. One cannot help but love Jagrell’s vocal conviction.
“Desert Queen” offers up a bit of a mid-tempo Accept vibe, while “Count Me Out” lays raw aggression on top of a cinematic foundation.
“Au Revior” and “Stones Throw” are finely crafted headbangers that continue the tradition of the Sister Sin signature sound. The former is a little more commercial and instant.
“The Jinx” finds Jagrell showing off the beauty side of her beastly vocals, but her ferocity is never diminished. She owns every line she sings and makes no apologies. The song offers a nice sonic reprieve amidst the fury of the album’s other tracks.
One of of the stand out tracks is the final, “Sail North”. The band pulls out all the stops on this ballsy homage to the group’s heritage. Sundberg and Strandh rhythmically pummel on this riotous rocker while Jagrell and Hiltula trade vocals on the verses. In a Sebastian Bach / Skid Row vein the chorus adds a sense of the epic to the track, and it all makes for a brilliant closer to the record.
There are only nine tracks on “Black Lotus”, which for those of us used to 11-14 tracks on most albums these days, might feel like a bit of a cheat. That said, Sister Sin offer up nine solid tunes with no filler, which most others bands do not have the balls to do: cut the filler and give us the meat.
The album is a non-stop sonic eargasm of traditional melodic metal and hard rock revelry. It showcases more variation than previous efforts, and while there are one or two moments in the latter half which lull a bit, the album’s overall momentum quickly dusts them away.
Kick ass record.
01 – Food For Worms
02 – Chaos Royale
03 – Au Revoir
04 – Desert Queen
05 – Count Me Out
06 – Stones Thrown
07 – The Jinx
08 – Ruled By None
09 – Sail North
Liv Jagrell – vocals
Jimmy Hiltula – guitars, vocals
Strandh – bass
Dave Sundberg – drums
thanks to Rustyn Rose