What does one say which would adequately describe LIV SIN? For those who are not familiar with her, she was front woman for Swedish band SISTER SIN. After 17 years, they decided to call it quits. I personally was a huge fan of the band and was a bit heartbroken to hear they were done. I had the good fortune to see them when they were on Mayhem Fest here in Dallas and actually got to meet Liv, getting an autograph. It was probably 105 degrees that day, just miserable, but they killed it. Needless to say, I was excited to hear Liv was back. She is more than back, she is ‘in your face” back.
Sin brings with her Patrick Ankermark and Chris Bertzell (guitars), Tommie Winther (bass), and Per Bjelovuk (drums. Together they form LIV SIN. Their eleven song album Follow Me (April 28, Despotz Records) from the very beginning fires a .00 gauge .357 right into your brain beginning with “The Fall”. Hold onto your ass. This is a fast paced ride through hell, one where you see the dashed lines racing underneath the car as you scream 120 mph down the freeway. “Hypocrite” follows with heavy guitar and dark lyrics. “Let Me Out” was their first single and about torment within the mind. Beginning with some tasty slower paced guitar harmony, “Black Souls” instantly shoots you into midnight black at 10 billion miles per hour. If you did not hold your backside tightly in anticipation, you just lost it on the way into this dark space of metal. Pray you circle the sun to pick it back up.
Now that you’ve just spent all your fuel on the first four songs, you only have about 10 seconds to fill up because “Goddess Utopia” is gonna slingshot you back into that black hell hole with killer dueling guitar solos. “Endless Roads” is up next and is a tasty number, though not as fast paced. Next is “Killing Ourselves to Live” which puts the pedal to the \m/etal and changes the tempo several times. It’s a bit difficult to keep up with and very unique for this production. Not a favorite. “I’m Your Sin” reminds me quite a lot of very early BLACK SABBATH. It’s a bit unique for the album as well. Very catchy minor key but no rainbows and unicorns here.
“Emperor of Chaos” accurately describes the vocals on this tune. It’s got great music, but Liv’s vocals are very difficult to make out. The song is way too monotonous. Taking a cover song from FIGHT (Rob Halford’s band when he left JUDAS PRIEST) with very low vocals, it fits the dark mood of this album with “Immortal Sin”. “The Beast Inside” Liv describes this concluding tune: “This one is very personal and I really wanted emotions to be shown, so the song is a bit built up as a fight or a war. It starts on the very bottom, but in the end the power to survive is winning.”
Overall, this is definitely something different. It has a more dark theme similar to Black Lotus, the last album made by SISTER SIN on their way out. LIV SIN has a great band nonetheless. It won’t be one of my favorites for the year, but there is a good product here and if you are really into the darker and dirtier metal, then you will probably love this one. Salude’
STANDOUT TRACKS: “The Fall”, “Let Me Out”, “Black Souls”
-MARK “\M/ETAL \M/ESSIAH” EHRLICH