“Sinful Nation” is the third album from Greece’s INACTIVE MESSIAH. The group formed back in 2001 under the moniker WORM OF MAGGOTS, before changing to their current name in 2004 whereupon they released their self-titled debut. Now, on this latest release, the band brings us a blend of Gothic, Symphonic, and Blackened Melodic Death Metal, along with even some Industrial influences.
Their songs are for the most part quite catchy in nature featuring chugging guitar riffs along with the heavily chorused vocals of Xristos. Symphonic keyboard parts and operatic choir voices add a taste of Gothic Metal to many of the tracks, while the Industrial aspects are rather subtle and more related to the repetitive almost dance-like tempo of the rhythms and also a few keyboard embellishments.
Although the music is appealing in its catchiness, overall there isn’t a lot of musical or vocal variety and the near constant mid-tempo feel does get boring rather quickly. Unfortunately, it seems that you only need to hear the first minute of most of the songs to know what the rest of it will be like. Throughout the album, the band just seems to be playing it safe, sitting on the fence between standard Melodeath and something more adventurous. One particular complaint I have about the recording is the awful snare drum sound that does resemble either a cardboard box or tin can in tonality more often than not (listen to “Theatrical World” for one particularly bad case of this).
Of all the songs, only the track “From Birth To Death” showed much variation, having acoustic guitars for the intro and bridge along with Symphonic horns and some Black Metal style vocals later in the song. Other than that, the rest of their songs are rather formulaic and the chuggy riffs really don’t offer too much for long-term enjoyment. It’s not a ‘bad’ album by any means, but it does get tiresome rather quickly. I’d suggest to instead checkout SEPTICFLESH, or THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT to see how music like this should be done.
(Online August 25, 2008)