Album Reviews

Sinbreed – Shadows Review

sinbreed_shadows_cover

Released By: AFM Records

Release Date: April 15 2014

Genre: Power Metal

Links: http://www.sinbreed.com/

 

Line Up:

Herbie Langhans – Vocals

Marcus Siepen – Guitars

Flo Laurin – Guitars

Alex Schulz – Bass

Frederik Ehmke – Drums

 

Tracklist:

1. Bleed

2. Call To Arms

3. Shadows

4. Reborn

5. Leaving The Road

6. Far Too Long

7. Black Death

8. Broken Wings

9. London Moon

10. Standing Tall

 

 

Germany’s Sinbreed is one of the most promising up and coming power metal bands in the world right now, and while they’ve been a well kept secret to all but the most diehard of power metal fans so far, with their sophomore release Shadows the band is hoping to reach the larger audience they deserve. Sinbreed started out under the name Neoshine, before changing their name in 2008 due to legal issues, then in 2010 they released their highly acclaimed debut When Worlds Collide, which was as much of a 100% pure power metal album as you’ll ever hear, and most fans who heard the album were immediately impressed. Now for their highly anticipated second album, they have kept the same lineup intact, including current Blind Guardian drummer Frederik Ehmke, with their only lineup change in between albums being the addition of Frederik’s bandmate Marcus Siepen, which should attract more Blind Guardian fans.

Despite this addition, however, it becomes clear from the very beginning that little has changed in between albums, as for the most part Shadows sounds like a direct continuation of When Worlds Collide, except with some punchier guitar riffs. For those new to the band, Sinbreed play a very traditional brand of German power metal, with the guitars being the driving force, and with keyboards being completely absent. Compared to the likes of Helloween andGamma Ray this album can get very heavy, and at times there’s some slight thrash influence in the guitars, but every song has an epic chorus with strong vocal melodies.

In fact, along with the excellent guitar work, the most distinctive feature of Sinbreed is singer Herbie Langhans. He typically sings with a roaring, very deep and powerful voice that certainly wouldn’t feel out of place on a classic heavy metal album, and his voice is a perfect fit for the kind of balls to the walls power metal that the band plays. At the same time, he really excels on the choruses where he soars along as well as any great power metal vocalist.

Shadows is pure power metal from start to finish, meaning there aren’t any slow paced heavy metal songs, nor are there any ballads. Instead, fans are treated to pure speedy German power metal on every track. Perhaps the only flaw is that some of the songs in the middle blend together just a bit, and I find the songwriting to be a slight step below what it was on When Worlds Collide, but on the whole this is a very energetic album highlighted by excellent performances from everyone involved, especially Herbie and guitarist/band leader Flo Laurin, who plays some truly explosive and awesome riffs.

Album opener and video single “Bleed” is a perfect indication of what to expect, as it’s a speedy, in your face power metal song highlighted by excellent riffs and obviously Herbie’s voice, which sounds especially impressive during an intense vocal part in the middle that was unfortunately cut from the video, making the album version much stronger. Equally impressive are the more melodic tracks “Call To Arms” and “Reborn”, while the especially thrashy “Black Death” is certainly a treat as well. The biggest highlight of the album for me is the 7 minute epic “Broken Wings”, where it seems the entire band decided to take it to the next level with by far the most epic, intense and complex song in their career to this point. I would definitely like to hear more songs like this, where the band pushes themselves a bit more creatively, as it does seem like they played it a bit safe at points on this album, but that complaint aside, this is still top quality power metal from start to finish. If anything, I just want to see the band do even better things, but hey, maybe next time.

Shadows is a worthy follow up to a very impressive debut, and it’s sure to please existing Sinbreed fans. I also think it will impress power metal fans who want something a little more aggressive while still having the typically epic choruses. And obviously Blind Guardian fans should enjoy it as well.

 

Written by Travis

Ratings    Travis    9/10

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