Put on your leather jacket. Let down your hair (+ points it it’s a mullet). Hop on your hog and drive to the nearest, meanest, dirtiest biker bar you can think of. With the smoke from your cigarette stinging the eyes of the weak and a cheap beer in your gut, you’re in the perfect mood for a SINNER album. Except the title track. SINNER always makes the title track a bit brainier.
Led by veteran rocker, bassist and vocalist Mat Sinner (PRIMAL FEAR, SHIVA, MAT SINNER), these guys know how to put together Heavy Metal that is good, simple (except the excellent solos) and wants to punch you in the face. Oh sure, sometimes you get extraneous keyboard work, but it’s usually pretty forgettable (except for its rather egregious use in “The Fugitive”). Listen to the crackle on the opening riffs of “Used To The Truth”—something big is coming.
There are a couple songs that stand out for one reason or another. “Blue Tattoo” sounds like a heavier version of something you could get on a VAN HALEN album, down to the lascivious guitars. Obviously, that’s a good or bad thing depending on your attitude toward VAN HALEN. As I mentioned above, the title track also stands out, as it’s much got more clean passages and is pretty long, nearly hitting the nine minute mark. One track, “Streets of Sin,” does beat the nine minute mark and runs the entire SINNER gradient, from introspective to angry and hard. Besides the title track, I also heartily recommend “Used To The Truth” and “Jump The Gun.”
There’s really nothing new here. Nothing about this album is terribly fashionable today—the attitude is distinctly from the 1980s Hard Rock scene, where the important thing was how hard you rocked and how heavy your metal was. There aren’t any orchestras, deep political criticisms, or odd time changes here. Just some Heavy Metal with a chip on its shoulder. SINNER really makes a nice place to visit for some nostalgia. You probably don’t want to live here, or play this album all the time, but it’s something good to revisit.
In 2000 Nuclear Blast re-released “Judgement Day” as a DigiPak with a few bonus tracks. (Online March 24, 2006)