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Sinister - The Carnage Ending (Massacre Records)

By: Mike Sloan

[7/10] Sinister has been around for quite a few years; almost a quarter century already. They were one of the pioneers of brutal death metal and for those loyal to the Dutch veterans, they havenít really ever altered their sound or approach. Over the course of their career, which spans two EPs, nine full-lengths and a handful of compilations/box sets/live albums, Sinister has always maintained a loyal following from a fanbase that goes bananas over their style of death metal.

For those worried about how Sinister will attack the listenersí ears with their tenth full album of original music have nothing to fear. Once again, the bandís album explodes out of the gate with sheer intensity and savagery, never relenting until the final chords of the last song. The Carnage Ending is a maelstrom of ferocious riffs and thunderous, blast-beat-heavy drumming. They cranked up the brutality meter to 10, per the norm, and nothing will be able to stop their attack. Or something like that.

For these ears, Sinister has always been a band that is much better suited for short bursts, sayÖ three songs max. The reason is because after a while, each song sounds exactly like the one that preceded it and so on and so forth. If youíve heard one Sinister song on the album, youíve heard the entire album. If youíve heard one Sinister album, youíve heard their entire catalogue. Itís always been this way and it always will be this way. Sinister, as fierce as they are, shoot themselves in the foot repeatedly because they appear unwilling to alter their approach or add any new wrinkles to their sound, much like brethren Diabolic, Krisiun, Vader, Immolation, et al.

What it boils down to is that if you are a fan of Sinister and how theyíve been so brutal/destructive over the years, youíll go apeshit over The Carnage Ending and nothing will change that opinion. In that regard, The Carnage Ending will probably be a year-end best-of for said fanbase and thatís cool. Thereís nothing wrong with that whatsoever. Thereís also nothing wrong with Sinsiter, either, provided their music is kept in small doses. Though it is better than some of Sinisterís previous efforts (Savage or Grace and Aggressive Measures), itís essentially more of the same olí same olí with Sinister.

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