Sinner – Santa Muerte

Album Review By Rainer Kerber

Artists such as Mat Sinner, who’s kept his band on target for more than 35 years, releasing well over a dozen studio albums (plus a number of live recordings and compilations), have got to be doing a lot of things right. The success of the German heavy metal act is based, last but not least, on its boss’s talent for unwaveringly sticking to his chosen course while never losing his passion for new challenges.

Is so in the press release of the Hamburg label AFM. This is typical North German understatement. Actually, it’s 37 years. If you read the names of the bands that Mat Sinner participated in or are still part of, you can only cluck your tongue as a fan of melodic rock / metal. Also, in the number of studio albums released so far, the press text is modest. Wikipedia lists sixteen previously released albums, Encyclopaedia Metallum even its eighteen. However, in September the latest work “Santa Muerte” will be released. And the master is always good for a surprise and this is called Giorgia Colleluori, comes from Venice and is a female singer. The first time that a firm second voice can be heard next to Mat.

A songstress from Italy? Are Sinner now playing symphonic metal? Not at all. Giorgia is a rock belter before the Lord. She already proves that with the opener “Shine On”. It fits the tape, like the lid on the pot. So, everything was done right. Mat has also succeeded in winning well-known colleagues for guest appearances. In “Fiesta Y Copas” you can hear one of the most charismatic singers of the present, Ronnie Romero (Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow). The catchy rock rhythms you can always hear great guitar solos. The title song “Santa Muerte” is also the longest piece of the album. Impressive here is the precise and calmly played drums. And of course, the chorus that you can sing along after only a few passes. Excellent also the twin-guitar-passages where both guitarists throw each other the ball. This song has clearly hit potential and is expected to come off live really. “Last Exit Hell” lives up to its name. Here the Swabians set a hellish pace.

Another guest can be heard on “What Went Wrong”, Black Star Riders shouter Ricky Warwick. A deep bow to Thin Lizzy and their “successor band”. Of course, with the typical for both bands twin guitars. After the straight rocker “Lucky 13”, the quintet shows that it cannot only rock. “Death Letter” is a number deeply rooted in Rhythm & Blues. Originally composed by blues musician Son House in 1930, it later became known in the White Stripes version. Sinner heave the old blues into the modern age. And Giorgia Colleluori sounds like a mix of Aretha Franklin and Melissa Etheridge. Madness! It should also be mentioned here that Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear, Allen / Lande) plays guitar for this song as another guest. Another play tip is the rhythmic “The Wolf” or the semi-ballad “Misty Mountain”, which spread in places a Southern Rock feeling. At the light-hearted and lively “The Ballad Of Jack” fans will sing live certainly loud. Unusual for Sinner starts bouncer “Stormy Night”, with flutes and strings as an introduction. But only briefly. Then ensure both singers, Giorgia and Mat, for much storm out of the speakers. And the Thin Lizzy memory guitars add the sound to it. It should not go unmentioned that another longtime collaborator of the band, Sascha Krebs, is heard as a background singer and in the choruses.

Outstanding musicians and guest musicians. Twelve rock and metal songs that do not have a single failure. An officially powerful production. This is the stuff of a brilliant metal album is done. And that’s exactly what “Santa Muerte” is. No better way to celebrate heavy metal from the present.

SINNER – Fiesta Y Copas (feat. Ronnie Romero):


Mat Sinner – Bass, Vocals
Giorgia Colleluori – Vocals
Tom Naumann – Guitars
Alex Scholpp – Guitars
Markus Kullmann – Drums

Label: AFM Records

Out: September 13th, 2019

Playing time: 49:07

Track list:

  • Shine On
  • Fiesta Y Copas
  • Santa Muerte
  • Last Exit Hell
  • What Went Wrong
  • Lucky 13
  • Death Letter
  • Craving
  • The Wolf
  • Misty Mountain
  • The Ballad Of Jack
  • Stormy Night

Rating: 10/10

MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber


Disturbingly Good


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