Deformation of the Holy Realm

Christ this is the 13th full-length Sinister album.  I really don’t count Dark Memorials as a 14th album because that was an album made up of cover songs. I’ve been a long time fan of the band ever since I heard the debut Cross the Styx and first saw them on tour in support of the Diabolical Summoning album.  I loved and reviewed their last album Syncretism, from three years ago.  The album had a massive production and the songs just mauled the listener from beginning to end so how does Deformation of the Holy Realm stack up?  Quite honestly it’s right up there with that album, but maybe a little better.

Some line-up shifts since the last album as the guitarist is new on this album, but the signature Sinister sound is as prevalent as ever and that’s thanks to original drummer Adrie Kloosterwaard, who decided to put the drum sticks away in 2005 and took on vocals.  10 songs in 44 minutes with an intro and outdo so really 8 songs.

“The Funeral March” opens the album with some keyboards/synths and you can tell with the buildup the next track, the title track, is really going to cause heads to explode.  That is precisely what happens with a monstrous riff over the blast beats and Adrie coming in with his super snarling and powerful vocals.  The song gets right into a signature 90’s death metal speed and then over the double bass chest cavities are caving in all over the place.  Nice guitar solo a little later and christ almighty-is this the best guitar sound all year????  It’s Sinister alright, but even more razor sharp before the opening stop n start blast beat comes back.  So goddamned catchy and brutal at the same time.  This is one of my new favorite Sinister songs of all time.  Towards the end instead of the stop n start blasting the song just goes even more for the jugular as the blasting is relentless.  Ferocious opening song.

“Unique Death Experience” has an awesome Bolt Thrower style to it with the opening rumbling heaviness before the blast beat clears the path and slaughters all the non believers out there ripping the golden toilet paper right out of their households.  The monster guitar riffing is chunky and over the blast beat, is excellent.  Some cool melodies to the riffing and the bass guitar is in there as well to add some well-placed bottom end heaviness.  There are some whispered vocals in the background over the brutality which reminds me of the classic Finnish death metal band, early on in their career-Belial.  They used to do that in the early 90’s and it sounded quite evil.  Excellent melodies at the end, which shows Sinister can mix in some melodic moments to their brutality.  The guitar solo at the end has an ethereal nature which reminds me of Fallujah.  It’s s little bit of different guitar solo for Sinister and it’s placed perfectly towards the end of the track.

“Apostles of the Weak”, at over 6 minutes, is the longest song and the choral/chanting in the background adds to the malevolence this song creates.  A lot going on here.  Guitar solos, brutality and the 4 minute slow down features some monster drum rolls before that razor sharp riff comes back.  So catchy, palm-muting going on.  Adrie sounding as if he is ready to punch someone in the face over and over again and then laugh about it later on while downing a few pints of lager.   Really good tune and does not feel like a 6 minute song.

“The Ominous Truth” ends the album before the outro.  Perfect ending song.  It’s a slower, heavier number.  We’ve seen Sinister experiment with this style over the last several albums and it’s no doubt brutal.  Excellent guitar melodies and the main riff is heavy. The song picking up to a vintage 90’s death metal beat.  The song has some spoken word moments and a ferocious blast towards the end of the song, as it trails off to the netherworld.

The rest of the songs are equally destructive.  Sinister have crafted an original sound since the early 90’s and Deformation of the Holy Realm is yet another monster of an album, ever since the band has been on a roll since the 2006 Afterburner reformation album.  The songs are biting, well-thought out, monster vocals, memorable riffs and Sinister have achieved the best production to date with this album.  The demonic monstrosities causing mayhem in the holy land continues the theme over their last several album covers incorporating demons and other beastly bastards who love turning the cross upside down.

Deformation of the Holy Realm has a nice mixture of relentless brutality and melody thrown in there, with tempo shifts throughout to keep the listener’s attention.  Get this now. Buy or Die!!


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
June 15th, 2020


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