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Sinister: Aggressive Measures (Gold Disc reissue)

First released back in 1998, Aggressive Measures was the fourth full length album from Dutch death metal outfit Sinister. The band's history stretched back almost a decade prior to this release, a succession of bassists and guitarists joining drummer Adrie Kloosterwaard and vocalist Eric de Wint, who had replaced Mike van Mastrigt a year or so earlier. And a good addition the vocalist was too, a controlled growl never over reaching, or overbearing, although compared to some (and the man he replaced), his range was a little restricted. However with a simple straight up blast of death from his bandmates, the vocal outbursts fit perfectly, an air of aggression the album title alludes to delivered in spades. Yet there's not really a huge amount to set Sinister apart from a whole host of acts who were (and still are) ploughing a similar death metal furrow, although to be fair they did do it with enough gusto to convince.

At the time, the line-up was completed by guitarist Bart van Wallenberg and bassist Alex Paul, the pair combining to good effect to ensure "Into The Forgotten" hit with an authoritative air that often gets left by the wayside by many bands looking to up the aggression. "Fake Redemption" shatters its intended mark also, a cascading guitar line giving the drumming from 'Aad', as he's referred to in the booklet, the space to dart through a combination of dynamic tempo shifts. Proving that Sinister could rein in the death excesses, "Chained In Reality" takes a more considered stomp and hammers it home with intent, while the album's title track takes the opposite route to deliver fully on the name "Aggressive Measures".

Reissued by Metal Mind Productions in a smart digi pack, the sound on this version appears not to have been tarted up, yet it still stands up to fresh scrutiny, something the "Golden Disc", which is limited to 2000 copies ensures hits you repeatedly. With the Sinister history being one of many releases and line-up changes, some contextual liner notes would have been a welcome addition, however with little in the way of bells and whistles Aggressive Measures still stands up today. To suggest it's a death metal classic would be a stretch and yet there's still much to admire some 17 years down the line.

Track Listing
1. Intro ('The Upcoming')
2. Aggressive Measures
3. Beyond the Superstition
4. Into the Forgotten
5. Enslave the Weak
6. Fake Redemption
7. Chained in Reality
8. Emerged with Hate
9. Blood Follows the Blood

Added: November 28th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Sinister online
Hits: 1121
Language: english

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