Ever since Sinister’s killer comeback album, Afterburner in 2006, the band has literally been on fire and playing with as much purpose as when they first began slaughtering listeners in the early 90’s. Syncretism is the band’s 12th full-length. I won’t include the Dark Memorials album, as that is a covers album.

Ok, let’s cut to the chase, after an intro, “Neurophobic” comes blasting through your speakers with a perfect classic early 90’s death metal beat with razor guitars slicing heads off everywhere. The blast comes right through and Aad, sounding ultra-pissed and angry and he growls and barks at the listener, incessantly. Bas and Dennis add some nice melody with the excellent guitar work and the double bass at the 3.30 mark with the drum rolls has Toep destroying the drums like it’s nobody’s business. Ricardo’s bass guitar is nicely mixed in through the entire album and adds extra depth.

“Blood-Soaked Domain” has a killer opening with the guitars, cymbal hits and then Boom, the ‘Holy Shit’ moment where the blast comes right in at the perfect time. The 35 second part with the guitar solo and stop and start mid-paced moment is super killer, right before the lethal blasting comes back in town. The guitar picking is especially nice and the 1.55 part has a very epic feel equipped with a little horns section and the layered vocals are perfect. Since reforming this is one of the best songs Sinister has done and definitely one of their strongest songs, they have ever crafted. The epic moments on this track with the awesome audible bass guitar moments-oh man, this song is Sinister firing on all cylinders, as well as showing why, as veterans of the death metal scene, they are still laying waste to other bands out there.

“The Canonical Rights” is another monster death metal number with blasting, mid-paced and the guitar work is simply brilliant. Solos, melody, razor-sharp heaviness. The 1.05 isolated guitar part and then the fade in with Aad’s vocals are just demonstrative. Add in more epic qualities with solos over blasting and once again I am picking my head off from the floor. The epic qualities add an extra layer of depth and show Sinister do not rest on their laurels and they enjoy mixing in other elements as well as progressing as a band and further developing their sound. As Sinister has done with their last several albums, they offer a limited edition version of the album. Housed in an ultra-thick digipak showcasing the beautiful and brutal artwork the booklet is also exceptionally layed-out.

The bonus disc is an especially fascinating piece of music. all by itself. The singular tune is called “Unhallowed Blood” and is close to 14 minutes. It’s Sinister basically doing a doom/death tune and it’s depressing. Think the first Paradise Lost album, along with some classic Asphyx and Cathedral. Plodding, heavy and emotive. There are spoken word moments, pained and ravaged vocals, eerie atmosphere, guitar solos and this shows Sinister branching out even more and surprising the scene at how creative they can be. Truly a work of art, this track is.

Syncretism is one of the strongest albums in the Sinister catalog. The production is brilliant and the songs are so goddamned strong and well written, it’s plain awesome to see Sinister still killing it. One of the best albums this year and do yourself a favor and track down this special edition version-it’s the definitive version. From start to finish Syncretism is outstanding. Buy or Die!!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
September 5th, 2017


  1. Commented by: Grindymcgrinder

    Been loving this since it came out,definitely their best of all time

  2. Commented by: Grindymcgrinder

    They also just reissued the 2005 demo under the title”gods of the abyss”

  3. Commented by: Dave

    I sort of lost touch with this band after “Aggressive Measures”, and that was back in like 1998. This is pretty good, I’ll have to check it out.

  4. Commented by: Red

    nice review Frank. I’ve been a Sinister fan for many years and I really enjoy this album a lot. Hate is probably still my fave of theirs. One thing I don’t understand with the band(and many others as well)is why they keep doing these special edition versions with bonus tracks. it’s cool and all, and 20 plus years ago it was awesome, but nowadays we hard copy album buying folks are in the minority. instead of releasing multiple cd versions, causing some fans to miss out, just give us the goods in one overall release. hold out on the digital downloaders if you’re gonna hold out on anyone…am I the only one that feels this way?

  5. Commented by: F.Rini

    Red: Thanks for reading and your comments. I’m still oldschool and will always find the physical special editions. The underground labels out there make their money on physical editions and so they’re always looking to market music slightly different, due to trends in the changing music industry. Keep searching out those special editions. You’re helping the label and band,

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