Standard disclaimer: Romanization is mine (except the title). It might be a little off, since I was always terrible with cursive Cyrillic.
Is it just me, or is Melodic Black Metal on the rise in Russia? I mean, I can’t actually think of any groups beside SINFUL and a few acts that dance the line between Pagan and Melodic Black (TEMNOZOR’, I’m looking at you), but I just can’t shake the feeling that there’s more and more coming out of the land of the tsars. I do good research.
So if you still think that SINFUL is the latest motorcycle-riding, 80s-inspired Heavy Metal group out there, they’re not. Melodic Black Metal in the DIMMU BORGIR vein, though honestly I keep having flashbacks to CRYPTIC WINTERMOON and MYSTIC CIRCLE. There’s the tremolo riffing hiding between theatrical keyboards and double kick drums, shrieking vocals with interludes of more Death growling (as with the aforementioned German bands). It’s meant to drag us into a malevolent maelstrom of the macabre. And vampires. I guess I hear a little THEATRE DES VAMPIRES as well, but I’m not so familiar with them.
You hear a lot of a lot in “Omyt.” It’s stuff we’ve all heard before in any Melodic Black Metal bands. There’s a whole lot of this style on the market right now—it seems like you can’t swing a stick in Norway without hitting somebody who is now or was at one time in a Melodic Black Metal group. Sure, SINFUL has the sort of passion and drive that convinces the listener they believe in what they’re doing, but that’s not enough to keep them above the sea of mediocrity. They’re not good—not terribly bad—not in any way remarkable.
(Online November 4, 2006)