SINISTER - Diabolical Summoning (NUCLEAR BLAST - CD 1993)
In my honest opinion Sinister was creating some of the best death metal tunes back in the early / mid 90’s. All their early recordings like demos and EPs were already killer, then “Cross the Styx” full length actually belongs to my favourite DM records of all time, as it’s simply perfect death metal in the most intense, ferocious and sick vein, with killer dark, blasphemous feeling. Yeah, this debut album is just spotless and I still consider it to be Sinister’s finest recording. Generally though, all the 90’s Sinister is great, I always considered the Mike van Mastrigt era as their best, not only because I like his possessed vocals most, but I also feel like the songs were simply the most interesting; brutal and ferocious, with absolutely barbaric riffage. After Mike van Mastrigt left, the band did one more really good album with new vocalist and then it all went downhill, as the stuff with the Rachel behind the mic is mediocre, to say most politely. So, I mentioned “Cross the Styx” as my favourite Sinister album, but the following records: “Diabolical Summoning” and “Hate” are not so far behind and are killers also.
“Diabolical Summoning” is maybe quite underrated full length, as I hardly ever hear people mentioning it, when talking about their favourite 90’s death metal.. but damn, surely it doesn’t deserve to be forgotten! It’s still a very strong and killer album, continuing just where “Cross the Styx” stopped, style wise it’s a natural follower of the debut, again with some absolutely outstanding and memorable songs. Sinister in my opinion belongs to the bands, which had their own, unique style. Once you hear their riffs, you simply know it’s them. It’s maybe slightly close to such Monstrosity, Malevolent Creation or Deicide, speaking of the sick, blasphemous and vicious feeling, but very different at the same. Their riffs were often quite technical, but some were almost groovy and memorable… they used as many blasting parts, as the mid paced motifs… Mark’s vocals also sounded like no other growlers, so this is why all those early Sinister albums stand above the majority of other 90’s bands and releases.
As I already mentioned, “Diabolical Summoning” contains some truly fantastic tunes and is a damn killer album. From the entire tracklist I need to mention two songs first and foremost: “Sadistic Intent” and “Leviathan”. The latter we all remember from that awesome video, which was presented on MTV, but it’s just brilliant, rather slower song, with almost eerie atmosphere, especially in the opening theme… It’s slower, but turning into some beastly blasting outbursts once or twice. Generally, it’s just damn memorable, brutal death metal piece. “Sadistic Intent” has so many great riffs, is based on precise, very tight playing and awesome arrangements, including some nice bass lines. I like how this song progresses, as basically each verse of the lyrics brings different pace, from slow to mid and damn fast stuff! Brilliant! Yeah, these two are the finest anthems here, but I would also like to recommend especially the title song – which is the fastest piece on the album, with a real strong Deicide similarity and “Desecrated Flesh”, which on the other hand is maybe the slowest of all, but I just love the riffs in it. But generally, all songs are great and strong and this is yet another Sinister album, which is so close to perfection. No weak points here; great production, proper length of the album, killer front artwork… absolute classic.
Standout tracks: “Sadistic Intent”, “Leviathan”, “Diabolical Summoning”
Final rate: 89/100