German thrashers turned hard rockers Sinner have just released their eighteenth full-length release, which definitely marks the band’s choice to create a more classic rock themed album with some elements of their power metal sound intact. These guys may not have realized it, but there are literal dragon fetishists out there in the world, which will probably be delighted by “Dragons” which is supposed to be about scornful women, though could end up meaning something completely different to these people. Especially if they fetishisize such beasts as female. In any case, this is just one of the many standout notes here, like the folk-influenced “Pride Of Battle Hill” which seems to take a Game Of Thrones sort of aesthetic and could also appeal to those dragon fetishists. Then we have the almost HIM-feel of the album’s title cut, which even seems to take on a slightly Goth element in the chorus, albeit with more guitar bravado than most love metal acts. “Sinner Blues” really changes the nature of this band, giving us an all-around twangy blues number. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just a little different that you might expect. “Gypsy Rebels” feels like a good old classic rocker, with a spitfire chorus that you’ll hum aloud for a few hours after.
“Loud & Clear” pumps up the octane a bit, as thundering bass teams up with leads that still have a whiff here and there of power metal (you’ll notice that throughout the majority of the album) and serves as the last real rocker that we get on the record. It ends with a very modern-era Bon Jovi cut called “Dying On A Broken Heart.” Obviously, this isn’t my favorite cut by any means (it’s “Dragons” if you hadn’t guessed) but I can say that it has a lot of radio flavor and could put them on the mainstream map. It’s also pretty safe to say that Tequila Suicide is one of their most accessible albums and should net them some credit as far as the rock charts in Germany are concerned. It’s certainly not a bad album, by any means.
I’m also going to talk a little about our bonus cuts here, which are all pretty memorable. The first one was a tribute to rock in general, called “House Of Rock.” It’s a slow-chugging anthem that features a fist raising chorus and should have done just fine on the original album. I mean, I would have replaced it with “Why” (which literally didn’t feel like anything) or the album’s opener “Go Down Fighting” in a heartbeat. Plus, it probably would have a made a much bigger opening statement than a song about wondering where all the good days of drinking beer and having fun went to. “Monday Morning” is a soft-rock song, which I don’t think would have made as much of an impact on the record, but it certainly has a bit more going for it than “Sinner Blues.” I really like the solo section in the piece, which almost sounds a bit romantic – there’s some real passion in that, which I don’t recall from the aforementioned. The last one we have here is another hefty cut called “I Am” which sounds like American hard rock as far as the riff-matter is concerned. There’s a few driving riffs later, but I think the chorus was a little undercooked. I get the idea, it just doesn’t flow quite as well as some of the numbers that sound similar to it. Maybe it would have had a bit more bite, if it had been a verse or two longer. It didn’t really stick with me in the way that song like this could, or should. There was definitely potential here.
After all is said and done, it’s quite obvious that fans of Sinner’s older material probably won’t find much here. There isn’t even a review in Metal Archives for any of the albums released on AFM, including one of my favorites, One Bullet Left. Particularly the title cut of that one, which is on my cellphone playlist. Still remains a constant jam. There’s a possibility that I might end up adding “Dragons” from this one to that list as well. The rest of the album is definitely worth checking out, it just has a great deal of subtle changes and may not be quite as “heavy” as you would expect. They’ve still got it – it’s just a bit toned down this time around. But when you’re a guy like Mat Sinner and have released eighteen albums with this band, not to mention several others in various other outfits; does it really matter what you do at this point? Sinner remain consistent and still manage to pack a punch after all of these years. That’s not something that many other bands can say.
(13 Tracks, 50:00)
(As much as I loved “Dragons”, the label apparently doesn’t and only the title track has a video. My apologies, as I too would have wanted to see the band battle knife-wielding dragons.)