Sinbreed – When Worlds Collide
It seems modest enough. New Blind Guardian-drummer Frederic Emhke teams up with Herbie Langhans, the singer from Seventh Avenue. A humble release through Ulterium Records and not an abundant amount of press. Worth a look, for sure, but no guarantee for greatness.
And then it hits.
Sinbreed’s When Worlds Collide is, quite simply, one of the best power metal debuts of the last few years and perhaps even one of its best albums. Its combination of raw riffing with vibrant melody may not be revolutionary, yet I dare you to find a record in recent memory that matches this one for sheer energy and passion. It is a non-stop rocket ride of ballsy speed monsters, brought in short bursts and never stopping for a sissy ballad or an overlong epic. Look no further than “Newborn Tomorrow” to burst through the gates, a massive stomper with a chorus as soaring as a falcon with a missile up its cloaca.
And yet the opener is just a building block for the whiplash-inducing intensity of “Book Of Life”, which boasts more hooks than a coat-hanger factory. The title track brings some symphonic elements to the table, yet they never drown out the solidity of the guitars. “Dust To Dust” is another sweeping sandstorm of shout-along madness and “Infinity’s Call” defies the very acceptability of catchiness.
The next couple of songs harken back to the days when the band was known as Neoshine, and you can hear how they sound a little less accomplished. That said, “Through The Dark” and “Enemy Lines” still manage to kick your ass so much even silken shorts will hurt. “Room 101” dials back to eleven, nearing twelve, and Thomas Rettke of not enough fame (ex-Heaven’s Gate, Aina) stops by to lend his underappreciated voice to an Orwellian orgy of fastness and ferocity. Fists will fly with “Arise”, a swirling whirlwind inspiring you to make the titular gesture and prance around your house like a drunken pony. With “Salvation”, Sinbreed opts for a more mid-tempo approach, and they crank up the keyboards. It is an appropriately grandiose closer to a neck-breaking, vocal-chord-tearing and a positively exhausting experience.
Few albums manage to make me hysterical with each subsequent spin, yet Sinbreed has done so ever since the material has well and truly sunk in. When Worlds Collide is a mammoth that some veteran bands can only dream of, and main composer and only guitar player Flo Laurin deserves heaps of praise for this compositions, as does Langhans for his perfectly balanced raspy and emotional vocals.
I do hope that Blind Guardian hurries the hell up with their fifteen new projects, so Ehmke can get back to what really matters. Yeah, I said it. Fans of Teutonic power metal should be willing to swap their girlfriends for this or maim their pets, even sacrifice their entire Iron Savior-collection to the power metal overlords. We suggest you don’t do any of those things, especially the last one, but at least get off your un-booted ass and get this thing before cool people find out it exists or it destroys a small planet and is banned from the public.
Arno Callens’ Rating: 4.5 out of 5