As I wrote in my review of SINISTER's "Hate" I consider "Aggressive Measures" to be the last good SINISTER album. On this one Mike has been replaced by Eric de Windt on the vocals. Eric has an even more downtuned and brutal vocal performance than Mike (van Mastrigt), though it's not that characteristic. The pure brutality of this record, however, makes Eric the perfect choice for the vocal job, as this is without doubt the most brutal SINISTER records of them all.
As usual when putting a SINISTER album in your CD player, an intro starts the show. Intros may have gotten a bad name over the years but that's certainly not SINISTER's fault. The intro on "Aggressive Measures", as on "Hate", sets you in the mood for what's to come. And what's to come is Brutal Death Metal with a massive guitar sound, energetic drumming and an absolutely rabid vocalist. What's most amazing about the vocals is the fact that even though it's really low vocals, it's actually quite easy to decipher what's being growled. Not only does the vocalist put in a good performance but in my opinion Aad peaks on "Aggressive Measures". He has been a good drummer since I first heard him on "Cross The Styx" but never as good as he sounds on "Aggressive Measures". One thing is nailing the drums (or any other instrument for that sake) while in studio, executing it live is a whole different story. The reason I mention this is because I was one of those lucky bastards attending their concert at Wacken back in 1999. Their performance that evening was Death Metal perfection, a display of pure audio violence. When I woke up the next morning it was time to pay the price for the intense headbanging I performed at the concert. I'm sure there are people over 90 years of age having a better neck than what I woke up with that morning. Signs of a great night, ain't it fellow Metallers?
As I mentioned earlier on in this review, "Aggressive Measures" is the fastest and heaviest of all SINISTER albums. This rise in brutality, however, saw SINISTER lose some of their distinctive character. To hear some of that character I'm talking about, I recommend a listen to their career highpoint "Hate". While I'm talking about highpoints I might as well mention some found on "Aggressive Measures". "Chained In Reality" and "Blood Follows The Blood" are my personal favourites on this album. "Chained In Reality" starts rather slow, letting the song build up and the finally explode. I really like the guitar work on this song, especially one detail that gets repeated a couple of times, I'm sure you know what I mean once you've heard it. "Blood Follows The Blood" is the album slowest songs, starting with some really heavy riffs that steadily builds up towards higher tempos. In the middle of the song all hell breaks loose and we're in for song that makes sure every song on this release deserves to be on a record named "Aggressive Measures". While talking about favourites it must be mentioned that neither of the songs I mentioned are my favourites by a huge margin. There ain't no such a thing as filler material on "Aggressive Measures", so don't worry about the rather short play time of the album.
The main reason "Aggressive Measures" became the last good SINISTER album was the departure of guitarist Bart (van Wallenberg). Whether he is playing at the speed of darkness or taking it down to BLACK SABBATH tempo (Doesn't happen to often) there is always something happening. All this added up with the ability to write good Death Metal tunes ensures him and SINISTER, a place in my hall of Death Metal excellency. If you have a craving for brutal music this one is an easy recommendation. (Online May 11, 2005)