Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sinbreed - When Worlds Collide (2010)

Sinbreed was a band once known as Neoshine a few years back, but have changed their name...for the better, and with a pair of heavy hitters in tow from other, well-known bands, they've put together a fine sounding debut of aggressive power metal that should satisfy fans of Grave Digger, Persuader, Blind Guardian, Iron Savior, Paragon and the lot of them. By heavy hitters I am referring to Frederick Ehmke, the latest Blind Guardian drummer, and Herbie Langhans, the frontman for Seventh Avenue, who are joined by the core of of Alex Schulz on bass and Florian Laurin on guitars. Though Sinbreed's style is nothing new, the band do put a strong emphasis on their songwriting, incorporating savage riffs that evoke memories of mid-to-later Running Wild, Grave Digger and the like, with strong chorus vocals and eager harmonies.

"Newborn Tomorrow" is a good example of the band's entire range, and a strong starter, opening with the glint of dual acoustic melodies and Langhans' passionate delivery over a solid barrage of driving chords that keep the piece moving ever forward. When it breaks for the lead, the notes soar gracefully atop the chords, and weave through an impressive display around 3:30. With "Book of Life", the band continues to hammer away, with a pretty similar structure. Other fun and upbeat numbers include the raging "Dust to Dust", "Infinity's Call" and "Through the Dark". None of the writing will exactly blow you away, but the riffs remain tight and well composed, and the vocal performance is steady. To the band's credit, there is no whiny power ballad here to try and shake you out of your pure power metal fixation, it's a very level album, and I speculate that regardless of how you queue it up, you'll probably enjoy 2-3 songs and then move along to something else, since most of the tracks simply lack that extra 'something' to hook you in further.

As if power metal were the new rap music, this is yet another album to incorporate a few guest appearances: Morten Sandager of Pretty Maids, Joost van den Broek of Ayreon/Star One, and Thomas Rettke of Heaven's Gate are the veterans lending their stamp of approval to When Worlds Collide, but nothing to tip the favor of the album any further than just 'good'. A lot of patience and caution went into the mix, it's a professional sounding studio job that places it at the forefront of German power metal alongside the bands that have inspired it, but the great sound only makes the album's lack of being able to truly capitalize on all the involved talent that much more glaring. Sinbreed is solid, and might appeal to the German fanatic who wants more meat on the block to carve through, whether it's the likes of Blind Guardian or At Vance. But the songs written here are not truly memorable enough to last long after the interaction.

Highlights: Newborn Tomorrow, Dust to Dust, Through the Dark

Verdict: Win [7/10]


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