I just got turned onto Hamilton, Ontario’s own Deathpoint with Sinister, released earlier this week. It’s their sophomore album and first with new vocalist Tom Emmans. The description of melodic groove metal is quite fitting, although they do have a sound that at times is hard to classify, and that’s a good thing. Obviously with a name like Deathpoint you’d expect them to bring the heavy in large doses, which they do. But there are some serious melodies going on here too, guys.
First song “For Your Eyes Only” gets things off to a good start, and Emmans actually sounds like Maynard James Keenan at times. The guitars are good and crunchy, courtesy of Henry Joldersma and Tim Ross, and the rhythm section of Brad Gold on bass/vocals and Mike Labate on drums chugs along nicely. “Between the Lines” has an infectious riff that will grab and hold your attention for the duration. The vocals are also a tad more aggressive here, sounding pissed at SOMEBODY. The solo on this one’s really good, too.
“Sinister” definitely sounds like something in Fear Factory’s wheelhouse, which is cool because I’m a huge fan. Again, there’s more screaming aggression than clean singing, except for the choruses. Emmans flips from one to the other with relative ease, and it adds a nice dynamic to the band. He REALLY gets going, as does the entire band on “Sick Sick Sick”, a pure unadulterated slice of angry metal that flat out pummels and was instantly my favorite. Musically, “Remission” is quite good, with some nice twists and turns, but it got to be a little too much toward the end vocally. And this is also a turning point in the record.
“Entitled to Nothing” continues the screaming over singing trend which pretty much goes on for the remaining four tracks, but once again, it suffers from overkill, and was not one I enjoyed. Alas, “Condemned to Suffer”, well, suffers from the same problems as the previous two. Thankfully the band is able to rebound with “Lost Haven”, which has almost an Iron Maiden guitar line running in the background for the entire song, and the best solo on the whole disc for sure. Plus, the singing is really good here, particularly the last 1:30, making this one my second favorite.
Closing things out is the ambitious seven minute “Thirty Stitches”. This song grabs hold right away and refuses to let go, the entire band swinging for the fences, and connecting beautifully. Ultimately, Sinister is a tale of thirds. The first one is more melody and punch. The middle section is all anger and aggression, sometimes with a bit too much noise. And the final act features two of the more majestic songs that truly showcase the talent within Deathpoint. Despite an overabundance of growls and screams, there’s some really good music to be found on this album. Pick it up and see for yourself.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Thirty Stitches”, “Lost Haven”, “Sick Sick Sick”, “Between the Lines”, “Sinister”