One of the coolest things about working with Dustin from AFM Records is the element of surprise. Hang on, I’ll explain. You see, we here at A&GS review a lof of this label’s bands because quite frankly we’re YUUUUGE fans of most of them. So, as a thank you we oftentimes get physical CDs in the mail (shocking, right???). The surprise comes from the fact that he doesn’t always tell you when you’re getting one. And after a shitty day at work you come home and BOOM! There’s an AFM care package in the mailbox and all’s right with the world for a little while. It was one of these care packages in 2014 that first introduced me to SINBREED on their sophomore album Shadows. I’d never heard of them and truth be told I liked it, but didn’t love it. I thought the group had a ton of talent, but not a lot to make them stand out from the pack.
Well now it’s 2016, the new record Master Creator releases on February 26 via AFM and BOY, WAS I WRONG about this band!! Things are really clicking for me this go ’round, from Herbie Langhans’ rough and ready vocals to Flo Laurin’s masterful guitar riffs to the thunderous drumming and thumping bass of Frederik Ehmke (BLIND GUARDIAN) and Alexander Schulz respectively. The triple threat of opener “Creation of Reality” followed by “Across the Great Divide” and “Behind a Mask” sets the table for a Teutonic Speed/Power Metal feast and I immediately wondered if they could keep up the intensity without getting too repetitive. I needn’t have bothered because “Moonlit Night” quickly allayed any concerns I might have had and just as quickly became an album favorite. Herbie’s voice here is terrific and everything runs like a well-oiled machine.
The title track features machine gun riffs and a soaring HELLOWEEN-esque chorus along with some of the finest soloing on the disc, while ballad “At the Gate” and uptempo number “Last Survivor” are fine contributions as well. But as good as things have been up to this point, the band saved the best for an album-ending hat trick of tunes that have been blaring constantly at the day gig. The intro and sinister guitars on “The Riddle” kept me coming back for more, while the sheer throwback vibe and anthemic quality of “The Voice” made it arguably THE album favorite in direct competition with closer “On the Run”. when Langhans unleashes that chorus of “Conqueror!!!” on the latter and the band takes off at a gallop I’m ready to roll with them. I guess this one wins by a nod, but damn it’s close!
All told this is a fucking great album from SINBREED and one that I can see myself spinning over and over again without getting tired of it anytime soon. As of this writing I recently interviewed Flo Laurin and was happy to have a chance to express to him how impressed I was this time around. Look for that one soon, by the way. They say the third time’s a charm. Well that certainly holds true for this band in my eyes. Any fan of melodic power and speed should pick up Master Creator and get themselves an earful of SINBREED because I guarantee you’ll be blasting it any and every chance you get!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “The Riddle”, “The Voice”, “On the Run”, “Master Creator”, “Moonlit Night”