Crash & Burn
1/23/2009 - Review by: Eric Compton
Sinner has been rocking it out since the early 80s in Germany, for some reason never breaking through the commercial barriers like fellow Germans Victory and Accept (and U.D.O for that matter). The band, led by singer/songwriter/bassist Mat Sinner, has released countless metal-hard rock hybrid gems. The purest of metal feats was "Wild 'N Evil" while the most AOR the band became was on its near career collapse "Respect". Along the way Sinner has given us treats with "Bottom Line", "Judgement Day", "Comin' Out Fighting", and "Touch Of Sin". Many fans complain that Sinner has released the same album time and time again, while those same metal critics eat up every Slayer release as if it is manna from the gods. I have always appreciated the band and hold a handful of their albums in very high esteem within the German metal hierarchy. So with arms and hands wide open I greatfully accepted the band's new album "Crash & Burn".
This is actually the first Sinner release to fall on the AFM label. AFM have fast become the home of German heavy metal superstars, most notably Doro, U.D.O, and Tankard. "Crash & Burn" marks the return of Henny Wolter on guitar as well, the first outing to feature Wolter since the '03 "There Will Be Execution". Fans may remember Wolter's skillful playing on previous Sinner albums as well as Primal Fear and Thunderhead. This album was produced by Mat Sinner and Wolter and features a powerhouse polish that really seems to be quite common with German hard rock acts (see Tommy Newton's production with Victory, Michael Wagner's jobs with Accept, etc.).
The record begins with an air siren before dive bombing into the title track, a fast dash that marks a Sinner 101 sound and a prelude to the album's general feel and vibe. Guitarists Christof Leim and Henny Wolter immediately go to work with a twin guitar lead halfway through this opening song before hitting on a Megadeth "Symphony Of Destruction" hook on follower "Break The Silence". From there we get a bluesy cut "The Dog" chased by the album's weakest cut "Heart Of Darkness". The Krokus flavored "Unbreakable" is next, followed by a smash mouth Van Halen styled song called "Fist To Face" (album favorite). From there the album winds down with the mandatory ballad "Until It Hurts" and the sloppy but fun "Little Head". The band deliver some fine goods with the ode to Thin Lizzy "Connection", showcasing once again Mat Sinner's love for Lynott and company by writing an original tune that employs Lizzy's style. The album ends with the rock steady "Like A Rock" (not the Silver Bullet Band).
The end result - "Crash & Burn" definitely doesn't crash and burn. This is another classic in a long line of success from Sinner. The band have taken the reigns laid down long ago by Thin Lizzy and held those mighty metal standards in high regards. Mat Sinner may never get the proper recognition or fame but in my book of metal he's an ace in bold black letters.
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