Sometimes I wonder if the power metal genre will become (more) saturated or if we’ll end up seeing its resurrection by the hands of a few mad Swedish dudes – as we had with speed and traditional metal, which became the so-called “new wave of Swedish heavy metal” – or, in fact, if power metal is actually alive and well. What is certain, though, is that for every strong display we are graced with in the genre (like Orden Ogan), there are tons of mediocre and bad power metal albums out there.
Of course, there is also quality material being made by new bands every day, and although we can’t say that Sinbreed is a new act (they have been in the scene since 2000 under the name “Neoshine”), it was only in 2009 that these guys were properly introduced to the metal community in the form of the demo ‘When Worlds Collide’. Two albums and six years after, here we are with their new album ‘Master Creator’, coming out on February 26th, and the result is an album that validates Sinbreed as areliable band more or less in the same way as Iron Savior is, with a characteristic sound and familiar melodies.
Starting out in traditional power metal fashion, Alex Schulz (bass), Frederik Ehmke (drums), Flo Laurin (guitars, keyboards) and Herbie Langhans (vocals) start strong with “Creation of Reality”, with potent riffs, fast drums and a killer display by Langhans, who once again delivers a top-notch performance throughout the album. All of the following songs continue in a similar fashion, with perhaps the exception of “Moonlit Night” and “At the Gate” – tracks that break the tempo and slows things down just a little bit.
My personal favorites on this one are the three songs that end the album, “The Riddle”, “The Voice” and “On the Run” (the first one being the best of them), loaded with quality riffs and a memorable beginning. As I said above, songs like “Across the Great Divides”, “Behind a Mask”, “Master Creator” and “The Last Survivor” were crafted to be fast and heavy tunes with similar melodies and approaches, in order to maintain the characteristic sound Sinbreed is working hard to achieve. Allied to all that are the creative riffs by Laurin (who did all the guitar work himself), the surgical-precision drumming by Emke, who shines in every turn and every blow, and of course, the ripping and aggressive vocals of Langhans.
Despite being an obvious continuation from ‘Shadows’, ‘Master Creator’ features a slightly different Sinbreed than that seen on the former, though. At times we can see that, while only present in the past album mentioned above, Blind Guardian’s axeman Marcus Siepen was a great asset to the band and improved their songwriting and execution alike, as there are weak spots on the album, once or twice turning into nuisances.
Sinbreed is doing a good job detaching itself from the power metal cliché, mixing the genre with some speed metal elements and somewhat different lyrical approaches than the generic power metal band, and is quickly figuring with the cream of the crop.
Although inferior to ‘Shadows’, ‘Master Creator’ is nevertheless a solid and energy-filled album – with just a few downsides here and there – which will satisfy the fans. They clearly have a characteristic sound by this point, and they stick to that throughout the entirety of the effort, so if you are looking for an album with a variety of different elements, you could look somewhere else. But hey, when the sound here makes for a winning formula, why change it?