Sinisthra - Last Of The Stories Of Long Past Glories - 2005 - Arise Records
1. Coming Up Roses 2. Ice Cube Sun 3. Fearless Under The Falling Sky 4. To The One Far Away 5. Unrevealed 6. My Sweet Nothing 7. Fucking Fragile 8. Completely Incomplete
Arise Records is really becoming the most diverse label on the planet, always keeping progressive power metal close to heart, but venturing out into other avenues. With May's releases including Axenstar, Blind Stare, and Raintime, Arise have pretty much covered every genre possible. Now they add another with Sinisthra, a Finnish band that really delivers a well crafted gem with the year's longest album title "Last Of The Stories Of Long Past Glories", the group's debut.
Sinisthra seem to keep gothic metal close to their building foundation, at times sounding a bit like Cry Havoc, Sentenced, and Poisonblack. This year has seen a tremendous amount of these quality albums, with Sentenced and Embraze releasing treasured albums that have helped re-establish this genre and sound. Now we get Sinisthra, a new band formed from the ashes of Nevergreen. With the group's debut the band run through eight tracks of gothic metal, with a majority of the material carrying a good dose of straight ahead metal that borrows heavily from other genres, not all of which are metal.
With tracks like "Coming Up Roses" and "Ice Cube Sun the group deliver a crushing guitar sound, one that is up front and straight ahead, keeping a mid-tempo groove and offering up a Danzig type of riff. Vocalist Joutsen stays in gothic mode for the most part, delivering some powerful notes here and still slowing down to offer a more atmospheric approach as well. "Fearless Under The Falling Sky", "My Sweet Nothing", and "Unrevealed" are slower numbers that seem to incorporate some other influences, mixing in a bit of a slower pop feel. "Fucking Fragile" and "To The One Far Away" mix it up a bit more, adding in that Sentenced abstract sound with the more calmer elements of the band. Album closer "Completely Incomplete" is just massive, creating huge doom riffs that border on the heaviness of Sabbath or Cathedral.
If you are looking for a release that immediately grabs you then Sinisthra probably isn't going to be the one for you. However if you like an album to slowly engulf you, slowly but surely becoming a favorite, then this album comes highly recommended by me. The more I listen to "Last Of The Stories Of Long Past Glories" the more I like it. Certainly it isn't a powerful record, but at the same time it takes a completely different path, one that is clever and intelligent. As the hours go by Sinisthra is becoming a favorite of mine. If you are into taking chances, try this one out!
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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