Album Releases Album Reviews

Sinbreed – Master Creator Review

Released by: AFM Records

Release Date: February 26, 2016

Genre: Power Metal

Links: Facebook

 

Line-up:

Herbie Langhans – Vocals

Flo Laurin – Guitars

Alex Schulz – Bass

Frederik Ehmke – Drums

 

Track Listing:

01. Creation of Reality

02. Across the Great Divides

03. Behind a Mask

04. Moonlit Night

05. Master Creator

06. Last Survivor

07. At the Gate

08. The Riddle

09. The Voice

10. On the Run

As much as I enjoy German power metal, I’ve found that lately aside from the always reliable Blind Guardian, it’s been smaller bands impressing me much more than the big names. One of these bands to impress me most over the past few years has been Sinbreed, who made quite the impressive debut in 2010 with When Worlds Collide, and delivered another very strong album in 2014 with Shadows, so when I heard they had a new album coming in 2016, it immediately became one of my more anticipated early year releases. Well, their third release Master Creator is now nearing its release date, and I am excited to say it not only lives up to previous Sinbreed releases, but has already left me more impressed than Shadows did.

There’s been only one change in the Sinbreed camp in between releases, which is the departure of guitarist Marcus Siepen, who left so he could focus all his energy on touring with his main band Blind Guardian, though his band mate Frederic Ehmke remains as the drummer.. For the most part, the lineup has seen little change since their debut, so it’s no surprise that Master Creator is the same brand of aggressive guitar driven power metal with the huge choruses that the band has always delivered. Like with Shadows, the guitar work occasionally ventures into thrash territory, especially on the more subdued than normal but still fast “Behind a Mask” and the very fast paced, extra heavy “The Riddle”, which is one of my personal favorites. On the whole, though, I find this album to be a little more melodic than Shadows, and it features even bigger choruses and more memorable vocal melodies than that album had, with Herbie Langhans delivering some of his best vocal work yet. The majority of the album is very fast paced, as fans would expect, and it’s mostly in line with the first two releases, but I find a couple tracks to be a bit surprising in a positive way, and this helps take the album to the next level.

Opening track “Creation of Reality” is exactly what fans would expect. It starts off with a nice melody before launching into some heavy riffs during the verses, then opening up for huge vocal melodies during the chorus, and all around it feels like the perfect way to start this kind of album, just like “Bleed” from Shadows and “Newborn Tomorrow” from When Worlds Collide. The next track “Across the Great Divide” is even faster paced and more melodic, and is another track that plays to the bands strengths. Other excellent tracks in the same vein are “Moonlit Night”, which starts off a bit slow and more atmospheric during the verses, before picking up big time during the chorus, the title track, “Last Survivor” and “The Voice”.None of these tracks are overly surprising, but the performances are so strong, the production so perfect and the songwriting so good that they all instantly stick in the listener’s head anyway, and provide some excellent power metal.

Moving on to the two biggest surprises on the album, we start with “At the Gate.” This track starts off with just the piano and Herbie, who sings in a register that can be described as lower than his normal voice but still not quite as low or dramatic as his recent guest work for Avantasia, before the guitars kick in during the second verse and it turns into a really good power ballad. This is the biggest surprise on the album, because previously the band had delivered nothing but up tempo tracks, and had certainly never done anything this quiet, but they actually pull it off very well and the vocals stand out as a major highlight, like usual. The other surprise is the closing track “On the Run” which starts off like a fairly typical Sinbreed track, before turning extra happy during the chorus, and it has just a slightly more epic feeling to it than normal, and then towards the end some folk elements are added in to give it an even more upbeat feel. It’s not what I was expecting for the closing track, but it leaves with me with a very happy feeling and it’s both my favorite track on the album and possibly my favorite Sinbreed song ever, so I’m glad they tried something a bit different, and I certainly won’t complain if they do something similar on future albums.

Overall, Master Creator is a case of a band delivering everything that’s expected of them and then going just a little bit further, by adding in a couple unexpected tracks, making it an early year highlight for power metal fans, and an album that easily stands up to their impressive debut, while at least in my eyes, surpassing their previous album. Highly recommended for fans of Sinbreed, Blind Guardian, and anyone who prefers the more aggressive, guitar driven side of power metal.

 

Written by: Travis Green

 

Ratings: Travis 9/10

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