SINISTER - Hate (NUCLEAR BLAST - CD 1995)
Mid to late 90’s was a shit time for death metal maniacs. Not many bands were spoiling them with truly killer records. Let’s be honest; majority of bands wimped out badly, some changed their style too drastically, some other just couldn’t deliver albums, which would be as impressive as their earlier recordings… Obviously there were still few bands around, which were capable to deliver real goods, but they were mostly bands from the second row, like Dismember, Fleshcrawl, Vomitory, Vader, Monstrosity, to name just few… and obviously also Sinister was still very impressive. Previously they released two absolutely killer albums and finally in 1995 the time came for “Hate”! Just before this CD was released, there were some line up changes, sadly this is also the last album, which Sinister did with the original vocalist Mike van Mastrigt, who left just after “Bastard Saints” EP… So, maybe this is why I also think that past-“Hate” Sinister is no quite as good anymore… OK, “Aggressive Measures” is still damn strong, but I cannot say the same about some other stuff Sinister did. So, “Hate” is also the last Sinister album I really, really like a lot.
There are some absolutely fantastic tracks here and some of the most vicious and aggressive, evil sounding pieces that Sinister ever did in their long career. Already the opening track “Awaiting the Absu” is a real crusher, starting with a killer blasting part that immediately puts Deicide from that same era to a shame. But this song is not only about blasts; there’s a lot of diversity, so there are some slower, almost melodic parts also (well, listen to the ending parts of this track! What an obscure, occult atmosphere has been created there!), some almost catchy bits, including a killer chorus, where I always growl along with Mike haha! And most importantly, this is truly a powerful song. When played loud it really unleashes fury, aggression and destruction. Damn, it’s among my favourite Sinister tracks for sure. Another killer is “To Mega Therion”, whose description should basically be the same as for “Awaiting the Absu” – the atmosphere in this song is also very dark and satanic and the riffing is simply brilliant, so is the chorus part also. Finally I need to mention “The Cursed Mayhem”, another savage and beast of a song…
Some other truly awesome songs are “Embodiment of Chaos” and “18th Century Hellfire” – very characteristic for Sinister, when speaking of the riff / arrangement style, but I feel like they’re even more vicious, venomous and nasty than the stuff from “Diabolical Summoning”. They sound really raw, even if the production is quite clean, but damn… this is so powerful and energetic, so often deadly fast, so it’s like an unstoppable beast… but even slower song like “Art of the Damned” is simply impressive and I consider it to be one of the best tunes here. On the other hand, if I was going to mention more mediocre track, then it would probably be “Unseen Darkness”- not a bad song, but maybe not quite as brilliant as rest of the album.
Anyways, twenty years later “Hate” still sounds damn impressive and strong. This early Sinister era was just unbeatable and I consider it to be one of the best, most vicious and aggressive European bands of the time. I can comeback to their early albums many times and never feel fed up with these sounds. So sad I cannot say the same about the recent records of this bands, which are solid, but not even close to the brilliance of “Cross the Styx” or “Hate”.
Standout tracks: “Awaiting the Absu”, “To Mega Therion”, “The Cursed Mayhem”, “Art of the Damned”
Final rate: 90/100