Sinner - 'Touch of Sin 2' CD Review (AFM Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sinner - 'Touch of Sin 2' CD Review (AFM Records)

German bassist/vocalist Mat Sinner isn’t exactly a household name in the States but he is a big draw in Europe as Sinner (the band) was formed in 1980 and has over a dozen full-length albums under their belt. Sinner’s style of music is melodic, guitar-driven hard rock and, in a review of Sinner’s 2009 disc Crash and Burn, I compared the band’s sound to Thin Lizzy meets pre-disco Kiss. After a fresh listen to Sinner’s music, other points of reference may be U.D.O., Accept and Saxon. Bassist/vocalist Mat Sinner sings with a throaty rasp similar to Gene Simmons and the dual-lead guitars of Andre Hilgers and Christof Leim give the band's music a pre-NWOBHM sound.

Sinner’s newest disc, Touch of Sin 2 (AFM Records), came out on Sept. 10th and is comprised of 11 re-recorded tracks from Sinner’s predominately out-of-print back catalogue, a cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Don’t Believe a Word” along with two new songs. The disc starts off strong with the melodic, gritty rocker “Born To Rock” and this track sets the tone for the rest of the disc. The band doesn’t stray far from the sound of the opening track but the pop hooks come out a bit more on “Bad Girl”. This isn’t a bad thing as this song has a sing-along chorus that will strike a familiar chord with 70’s rock fans. Some of the stronger cuts on the disc are “Knife in My Heart”, which is driven by Sinner’s vocals and strong guitar riffs, and “Danger Zone”, which is a hard-rocker with great guitar leads and a melodic chorus. “Don’t Believe A Word” is a great take on the Thin Lizzy classic as, while it sounds like a Thin Lizzy song, Sinner and crew rework and imprint their own style on the song. The disc ends where it started – with another strong rocker. “Heat of the City” is one of the new tracks and it combines the “punky” aggression of early Iron Maiden and AC/DC with great guitar riffs and leads and some call and response fist-pumping vocals.

All-in-all, Touch of Sin 2 is a great introduction to Sinner’s brand of anthemic hard-rock that should catch the ear of fans of 70's/early 80's arena rock and it would be nice to see the band do a US tour. I didn’t think Sinner had ever toured in the US but I recently ran across an interview where Mat mentioned coming to the States to play one show in New Jersey. I was curious enough to do some searches and it turns out Sinner played the March Metal Meltdown 5 festival at The Cricket Club in Irvington, New Jersey in 2003. (It goes to show I’m getting old as I completely forgot about The Cricket Club – next thing you know, someone will start name checking Voodoo Lounge in Queens or Studio One in Newark).