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Sinister : Cross The Styx (remaster)

Formed in Southern Holland in the late 80's death metal band Sinister have gone on to release eight full length studio albums and are still considered one of the most underrated bands to come out of the death metal scene of the early 90's. After recording a few demos and one split release 1992 saw them sign with Nuclear Blast and issue their debut full length Cross The Styx. Fast forwarding to 2009 and Metal Mind Productions once again stepped up to the plate as they've done time and time again by making this one available once more with their standard remastered, gold disc, limited edition digipak treatment which comes complete with three bonus tracks.

For a debut effort Cross The Styx comes across as a very solid endeavor indeed and almost twenty years later I'd have to say it has aged pretty well, not to mention the 24 bit digital remastering sounds great without the expense of losing too much of the dynamic range.

Led by the savage riffing of then new guitarist Andre Tolhuizen along with founding member Ron van de Polder (who also pulls double duty on bass as well) tracks like "Spiritual Immolation", "Putrefying Remains", "Compulsory Resignation" and the title track feature a plethora of in your face, complex guitar work wrapped around the guttural growls of Mike van Mastrigt's vocals and occult based lyrics. The only downside I can find on this album, if there is one, is that on some tracks the splendid drum performances of Adrie Kloosterwaard are either buried deeper in the mix or the actual snare drum sound comes across like he's hitting a cardboard box. It's not a big deal and it shouldn't hinder you're enjoyment of what is a very solid album from beginning to end. The bonus live tracks are just ok and nothing to really write home about.

If you're a fan of old school death metal, thrash and grindcore then Cross The Styx is definitely an album you'll want to investigate. While you're at it check out what the band has been up to since they returned to action in 2006. The lineup has gone through quite a few different changes over the years, with Kloosterwaard (who has now moved over to vocals) being the sole original member left, but even after twenty plus years Sinister continues to put out solid releases, and they've remained a vital force on the death metal scene. If you want to hear where it all began then look no further, start right here with Cross The Styx

Track Listing
1) Carnificina Scelesta
2) Perennial Mourning
3) Sacramental Carnage
4) Doomed
5) Spiritual Immolation
6) Cross The Styx
7) Compulsory Resignation
8) Corridors To The Abyss
9) Putrefying Remains
10) Epoch Of Denial
11) Perpetual Damnation
12) Outro
13) Barbaric Order (live)
14) Enslaved The Weak Intro (live)
15) Enslaved The Weak (live)

Added: January 5th 2010
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Metal Mind Productions
Hits: 3187
Language: english

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