Album Review: SINSAENUM Echoes Of The Tortured
I think with supergroups in general, we as fans have an unfortunate tendency to view them as gimmicky. It's easy to forget that all of the people in your favorite bands know each other and are probably buddies. They run around all the same backstages and hang out at all the same festivals. Yes, this even applies to metal bands on opposite sides of the spectrum. Put on your big boy pants guys, because people in bands that matter don't actually care what genre of music their friends play, they just care that they are friends. I know that seems a bit rant-like but I think it's important to realize this with regards to Sinsaenum. In a world where context is everything, it still seems a little weird that members of Dragonforce, Mayhem, and Slipknot should find themselves playing in the same group and yet here we are with a band whose essentially death metal sounds are quite unlike any of their members other bands.
Sinsaenum is obviously a little obsessed with the epic. Their debut, Echoes Of The Tortured, features a myriad of filler tracks that emphasize orchestral moments. At the same time, though there are quite a few tasty chugs showcased here, Sinsaenum seem to get off more on tossing in the occasional flashy solo. That being said, these are often contrasted by more menacing melodic lines, making for a rather fun listen. Listening to the different guitar players bounce off each other makes for a potent listening experience. It's the balance in fact that makes Echoes Of The Tortured so interesting to me. Everyone in the band comes from a very different background, be they black metal pioneers like Attila, power metal lords like Frederic Leclercq, death metal gods like Stephane Buriez and Sean Zatorsky or Joey FUCKING Jordison (who kills it by the way) so it makes sense that the album should be a little all over the place. The fact that it sounds so coherent though is what make me want to come back time and time again. It's not a mishmash of the founders' bands but rather its own thing, unafraid to borrow exciting sounds from elsewhere in the name of creating a better, more beautiful heavy metal future.
Echoes Of The Tortured is a blast to listen to, and its blaring anti-Christian message seems fitting given those involved. That being said, I feel like mainstream metal still isn't for me. At times the record feels a bit heavy handed and the constant orchestral breaks starts to feel a little silly. But given my own rather narrow tastes I should hardly expect this album to cater to my every desire. What I'm trying to say though is more that if you love death metal with a bit of a twist then this album is going to keep you captivated. Sure the band needs to refine their idiom a little bit, but there is something endlessly exciting about the massive choruses and the dedication to darkness that these guys so gleefully dive into. It reminds me of being young again and first falling in love with heavy metal. Sinsaenum get why kids want to turn it the fuck up, and they give you a damn good reason too.