Sinsaenum is a blacker, more throwback super group than what we are used to from the brain of the King of super groups, Joey Jordison. Jordison, formerly of Slipknot and currently of Vimic has teamed up with Frédéric Leclercq, the bassist of Dragonforce, and Attila Csihar of Sunn O))) and the mighty Mayhem. If that doesn’t make you want to hear Echoes of the Tortured then there is something wrong with you.
This is a pure blackened death metal record and it’s a damn good one. Joey said in an interview regarding his vision and his approach with this band’s sound that “If you research all my interviews from ….since 1988, 1989, about my love for death metal, my love for black metal, and wanting to always do a project…I had this fucking vision in my mind, and he had it as well, and it just melded. And when you find that shit, there’s no denying it.”
Indeed, this album slays! The drums are a black metal infused death metal machine that lay the ground work for tasty blackened riffs while Attila at intervals soars with his trademark vocal style. Sean Zatorsky of Chimaria takes the reins and does the majority of the vocals on the album, at times sharing the mic with Attila and it’s glorious. This band is pure cold brutality!
There are a lot of tracks and a lot of instrumental tracks on this one; but it still only clocks in at over an hour. Can you skip the instrumentals? Yes, but they do add a lot to the overall central point of the work. A lot of them are very Dimmu Borgir or Mortiis so I really enjoyed them.
“Inverted Cross” is a fun track. Nice opening riff and pounded drums. Zatorsky singing about “killing Christians” is silly but it’s all in good fun. This one opens up around the 2:50 mark and becomes something that I wish the whole track was. Outstanding melodic break but not much else which sucks to say and it does introduce the “anti Christian” element of the work. This is something that I feel brings down the tone of the album and is too stereotypical of black metal but I digress.
“Army of Chaos” is not a great track. It’s really like Scar the Martyr which isn’t a bad thing. I have just heard that before. The trading of the vocals between Attila and Sean in the verses is actually savage. The riffs in the bridge are groovy while not giving up on the heaviness. I think the solo is too much. This track and “Splendor and Agony” have the most clashes in genre of the whole album.
“Final Curse” and “Sacrifice” are groovy tracks that pick things back up and have a lot of Mayhem in them. The guitars are haunting and build then go back into a chugging verse. There are some marvellous solos and great bridge parts. I feel that this band really shines with these passages. The thrashy coda of these songs are great too.
“Condemned to Suffer” is a nice change of pace and displays the range of the band and it’s perfectly placed on the record. Its themes are carried through with the heavier “The Forgotten Ones” a little later on. Listen to these as a pair and you’ll get a nice mix of the best of this band. “Anfang des Albtraumes” is my favourite track on the whole album and it’s where I would suggest starting with Sinsaenum then working back.
Overall, it’s a great idea, a good album and a passion project. The vocals are good to awesome depending on if it’s Attila or Sean. The two of them together are a genius pairing. The guitars are sometimes overdone but when they hit they really hit hard. The drums and bass are perfect. This is some of Joey’s best work in years. And that is really saying something.
This is a buy for me. If you like death metal, throwback black metal fused with orchestral breaks and packaged in a thematic order then you’ll love this. That’s without saying that each member is firing at full power here. Sinsaenum’s “vision” is something that I enjoy hearing and you will too.
Track List :
1. Materialization – 01:19 – instrumental
2. Splendor and Agony – 03:45
3. Excommunicare – 00:45 – instrumental
4. Inverted Cross – 03:35
5. March – 00:43 – instrumental
6. Army of Chaos – 05:18
7. Redemption – 00:44 – instrumental
8. Dead Souls – 04:20
9. Lullaby – 01:45 – instrumental
10. Final Curse – 04:30
11. Condemned to Suffer – 05:10
12. Ritual – 01:13 – instrumental
13. Sacrifice – 03:45
14. Damnation – 00:46 – instrumental
15. The Forgotten One – 04:35
16. Torment – 00:50 – instrumental
17. Anfang des Albtraumes – 05:50
18. Mist – 00:47 – instrumental
19. Echoes of the Tortured – 04:53
20. Emptiness – 02:20 – instrumental
21. Gods of Hell – 04:43
Heimoth – Bass
Joey Jordison – Drums
Stéphane Buriez – Guitars
Frédéric Leclercq – Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Sean Zatorsky – Vocals
Attila Csihar – Vocals