SINISTER - Creative Killings (KARMAGEDDON Media CD 2004)
I have to say that I am a big fan of early Sinister albums. I love their classic debut LP "Cross the Styx", which I think belongs to the best European death metal records from the old days. But basically everything until "Hate" album and "Bastard Saints" EP is fucking brilliant. Unfortunately, anything they recorded after that gets smaller and smaller interest from me. Sure, "Aggressive Measures", which they did with new vocalist Eric de , is not bad also, but after that it all is less and less interesting. Sinister can still be able to deliver good quality death metal albums, but it's not something truly exceptional anymore for me and I don't feel this urge to get every new album they do.
Here I'm going to write few words on album, which opens quite specific period in band's history. It starts when Eric de leaves Sinister and for some reason they decided to choose Rachel for new vocalist. I still remember how surprised I was, when I saw these news. You know, female vocalist in such brutal band like Sinister? WTF?! Sure, I knew her from Occult, but this band wasn't so uncompromising, utterly aggressive and fast like Sinister, so it was kind of weird and for sure controversial decision for me. Luckily, she managed to do relatively good work for "Creative Killings" and honestly, I think that not many people would even recognize that all these growls come from a woman. Her voice may be a bit too dry and monotonous, but it's not bad at all. So, after hearing the album all these doubts were gone.
Another thing is that Sinister managed to compose good material, with some great songs, so it would be hard to ruin it with miserable vocals. Unfortunately I cannot say the same about the next album they did – I believe that "Savage or Grace" is the weakest album in the entire Sinister discography. And it is also the last nail to the coffin of cooperation between the band and Rachel . Anyway, back to "Creative Killings". This album brings songs, which definitely sound like classic Sinister, with the very characteristic style of , which you will recognize immediately. That obviously also brings their own style for arranging and structuring the songs. At the same time I think that "Creative Killings" is slightly more melodic in few places and maybe easier to listen to, as some of these riffs are quite damn memorable. They still sound brutal obviously, with many fast tempos, but it's sort of easily listenable album. Some songs definitely stand out, like "Bleeding Towards the Wendigo", which is as good as any other classic song from Sinister old records. Then we have "Judicious Murder" with fantastic opening riff, "Moralistic Suffering" or "Reviving the Dead" - fantastic song and again very classic Sinister sounding stuff, with lots of and arrangements for guitars. But there are also weaker tracks like "Altering the Beast" or "Season of the Wicked". Also "Storm In My Mind" cover is pretty useless for me, but I can sleep in peace with it.
Definitely most of this album should not disappoint Sinister fans and I think that "Creative Killings" is a strong piece of death metal. I only wish it had different drums' sound, as this plastic, sterile sound is just not good at all! More so, Media CD edition contains the whole 1990 "Perpetual Damnation" demo, which is a feast to listen to. And there's also Slayer cover, so it's a nice bonus.
Standout tracks: "Bleeding Towards the Wendigo", "Judicious Murder", "Moralistic Suffering", "Reviving the Dead"
Final rate: 70/100