Good 'ol German power metal fronted by Mat Sinner Mat Sinner (real name Mathias Lasch) is also the founder and vocalist of German traditional metal band SINNER, who also performs with Ralf Sheepers in Primal Fear.
Sinner - Danger Zone (Noise) 1984
1. "Danger Zone"
Bandanas and torn shirts are cool! Well, that is what Sinner must have thought in 1984 when this album was released and the band photo was snapped. OK, you can stop laughing now. I must admit that in '84 I was wearing bandanas and leather too. It was a cool year when metal was something fresh and new and bands like Judas Priest, Dio, and Iron Maiden were only just beginning to be supergroups. Twisted Sister was climbing the charts that year as well. 1984 also saw the release of this German band's "Danger Zone" album. OK perhaps the look was silly and maybe the album cover art is a bit corny, but the music was there. The band was obviously inspired by the NWOBHM scene but despite this, their German roots still show even evoking Accept in a drunken state. "Danger Zone" rocks decisively hard. I'm impressed. This cd was a gift from a dear German friend.
Sinner - Comin' Out Fighting (Noise) 1986
WOW! I am shocked. I don't know why as I was warned that this album did not sound like "Judgment Day," they album that made me a fan of this band. Well, "Comin' Out Fighting" is not the Judas Priest heavy power metal I was expecting, rather what this album is more akin to is early Dokken or even old Bon Jovi. Now this is not necessarily a not a bad thing, it just wasn't what I was expecting. If you recall, both Dokken and Bon Jovi were heavier in their early days. Actually I rather like this album, but as I said, it is very different from the band's 1990's outputs. "Rebel Yell" is a Billy Idol cover.
Sinner - No More Alibis (Mausoleum) 1992
1. "When a Heart
This is quite the find. "No More Alibis" is one of the more rare Sinner platters to find on disc. This particular copy is a limited edition, numbered box set. The music contained herein is yet another fine melodic heavy metal platter from Matt and Crew. The disc starts off with a heavy commercial number titled "When A Heart Breaks" with some killer female backing vocals before breaking into a Van Halen inspired party anthem called "Good Times." "Where Were You" is a moving and memorable power ballad that reminds me of something Whitesnake might have done in their hair metal days, although Matt's vocals give it a more raw sound. The rest of the disc follows suite with some excellent melodic metal anthems and power ballads. Of the bands early material, "No More Alibis" is one of the finest, which make me wonder why it's so darn hard to find.
Sinner - Respect (Koch) 1993
"Respect" finds Sinner getting a bit more metallic and moving away from the more commercial, pop metal sounds of 'No More Alibis'. Since I am a fan of both the heavier side of metal and the more melodic, I don't mind the change at all. By 1995 I could imagine that Sinner was struggling to keep an audience in the diminishing melodic/pop metal world, that was all but killed a few years earlier by a plague called grunge. In any case, Sinner wisely decided they needed to get a bit more aggressive. That is not to say that all the melody is gone or that the band totally sold out to thrash metal. Far from it. "Respect" still retains the memorable anthemic hooks and the melody, however, the guitars are given a shot of adrenaline as are Matt's vocals. However, the power ballad "Fire in the Dark", the acoustic "Don't Let this Dream Die Young" or the hard rocking "Modern World" easily could have been written for "Alibis," so the band has not abandoned it's sound, they have just begun to refine it.
Sinner - In the Line of Fire Live (No Bull) 1994
Smoking live set by one of Germany's finest metal bands. As I have said before, live albums are usually the end of an era for any band, and that certainly is true in Sinner's case as well. Everything on this live album logs the more melodic early years of the band. After this release the band went for a decidedly more metallic direction. Still this live album showcases some of the band's best material from those melodic years. Two covers; Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" and Sammy Hagar's "There's Only One Way to Rock."
Sinner - The Bottom Line (No Bull) 1995
1. "The Biggest Lie"
Sinner - Judgement Day (Saraya) 1995
To The Truth" (4:59)
Didn't know they still made great "classic" heavy metal like this in the late 90's. Sinner are very retro, borrowing heavily from Judas Priest. This may sound like a bad thing to some, but to me, it's a Godsent, as I crave real metal like this. It only took me two listens to become addicted to this disc. Of course to find their cd's, as with most good power metal and thrash bands, you have to go to Germany or Japan, where the music is available and abundant. Sinner are now on Nuclear Blast, so their newer discs will be easier to find, although this album is still not available in the US.
Sinner - The Nature of Evil (Nuclear Blast) 1998
1. "Devil's River"
Mat Sinner and Co. continue to bring forth traditional, Judas Priest inspired German heavy metal. Lots of speedy downpicked guitar riffs and steady double bass. One reason I had to own this disc, however, was for the cover of Thin Lizzy's "The Sun Goes Down." Sinner's version stays close to the original with Mat even doing his best to sing like Phillip Lynott. Great job. The entire disc smokes. Not quite as catchy as "Judgement Day" but pretty darn close.
Sinner - The Second Decade (Nuclear Blast) 1999
1. "The Second Decade"
I almost always check the AMG reviews for albums I buy. I am sometimes quite amazed at how inaccurate their reviews are. For instance, in their review of "The Second Decade" they say, "the compilation covers the band's entire career, not just a decade of it...(which) makes it as close to a definitive Sinner compilation as is likely to be assembled..." Uhhhh, not even close. "The Second Decade" is a fairly good overview of the second half of Sinner's existence covering the albums "The Bottom Line" ('95), In the Line of Fire ('96), Judgement Day ('97), and "Nature of Evil ('98). Not sure why the record company, or perhaps the band, decided to ignore their first six or seven albums for this compilation, but it might have been nice to have had some of those early tracks included as well. Because of that this album is far from exhaustive, but is still a good listen and contains a few odd goodies as well. The inclusion of Sinner's contribution to "Tribute to Accept" was a nice inclusion, as is the acoustic version of "Respect". The only 'new' track is called "The Truth Is Out There ," which may have been a b-side track from "Nature of Evil," judging by where and when it was recorded. The packaging is rather unique in that it is an embossed, silver foil digi-pack. Unfortunately this would not scan properly, so the scan above is of the booklet that is contained inside. Overall, a nice overview of the band's heavier years. Here's hoping the next decade will be more of the same.
Sinner - The End of Sanctuary (Nuclear Blast) 2000
1. "Signed, Sealed
and Delivered" (3:25)
More quality heavy metal from Matt Sinner. I don't think this one has the hooks that "Judgement Day" has but it's still a testosterone injected metal fest. Very similar in to "The Nature of Evil" that was released only a year before. Nice digi-pack cover art complete with spot varnishes and embossing. Very cool.
Sinner - There Will Be Execution (Nuclear Blast) 2003
Sinner takes it up a notch one more time, after a long hiatus with Mat Sinner basically devoting himself to the heavy power metal of Primal Fear. "There Will Be Execution" doesn't stray far from the Primal Fear sound but is certainly more metallic and lethal than anything Sinner had done in the past. This disc features monsterous riffs, gargantuan grooves, smokin' guitar leads, crunchy production and even an occassional visit to the more commercial, melodic side of Sinner's past. While labeling bands anymore is a fruitless effort due to the fact that everyone seems to want to mix in every style of music in order to appease everyone, Sinner are 100%, pure, unadulterated heavy metal. Crank it up, fists in the air and bang thy head for Sinner have returned with a metal vengeance. The first pressings of this disc feature an extra 'bonus' disc with three tracks. Not sure how limited this pressing is, or was. "Wherever I May Roam" is a smokin' Metallica cover.
Sinner - Mask of Sanity (The Foundry) 2006
1. "Other Side"
"Mask Of Sanity" is Sinner's 12th release and doesn't stray far from the formula that this band has developed over the last 25 years. This is 80's-style heavy metal with a big emphasis is on the hooks and melodies. Like U.D.O. or AC/DC, Matt Sinner knows what his band does and he doesn't stray from that formula. "Mask of Sanity" has everything you would expect from a Sinner album, the heavy Judas Priest inspired numbers, the big arena ballads and plenty of mid-paced rockers. Including a Thin Lizzy cover is never a bad thing in my book. Sinner capably cover Lizzy's "Baby Please Don't Go" here. It is listed as a bonus track, although I have yet to see a copy that doesn't have this track. My copy is from Canada.
Sinner - Crash & Burn (AFM Records) 2008