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Sister Sin - "Now & Forever" (CD)

Sister Sin - "Now & Forever" CD cover image

"Now & Forever" track listing:

1. MMXII
2. End Of The Line
3. Fight Song
4. In It For Life
5. Hearts Of Cold
6. Chosen Few
7. Hang 'Em High
8. I'm Not You
9. Running Low
10. Shades Of Black
11. Morning After

Reviewed by on December 18, 2012

"Sure, some of the big choruses can feel a little dated in this day and age, but no one can deny the power of Liv Jagrell's vocals and Jimmy Hitula's mostly monstrous riffs."

With a classic sound that owes plenty to the likes of Judas Priest and Motorhead, Swedish rockers Sister Sin have returned with "Now & Forever." It's an angry jolt of metal in the early-'80s mold, still managing to feel mostly current.

Much of the credit for that has to go to singer Liv Jagrell, who alternates between a punky snarl on tracks like "Fight Song" (which, appropriately enough, begins with the lyric "Fuck you, fuck them and fuck the world too ...") to ethereal beauty on the piano ballad "Morning After," which closes out the disc. Even the testosterone swagger of early Motley Crue shows up in the ax-work on "Hang 'Em High," even as Jagrell takes the tune lyrically to a female perspective.

Jimmy Hitula's guitar-playing is full of the kinds of big riffs you'd expect, with the mid-tempo "Shades Of Black" feeling like it could have been on an early Dio album, while "Hearts Of Cold" has the album's best solo. The slow-burn intro to "I'm Not You" is also quite excellent.

The one thing that sometimes grates is an over-reliance on big gang choruses. On a track like "Shades Of Black," they work well, but they paradoxically rob otherwise good tracks like "Chosen Few" of some of their power, making them feel the slightest bit dated.

That said, the production on this disc, which was mixed by longtime Motorhead producer Cameron Webb, is quite excellent, with the gang vocals still in the backseat to Jagrell's singing. Bass and drums get ample space to work their magic, which is especially good on a more rhythm-centered track like "Shades Of Black."

Sister Sin's "Now & Forever" has plenty to offer for those who enjoy early-'80s sounds. Sure, some of the big choruses can feel a little dated in this day and age, but no one can deny the power of Liv Jagrell's vocals and Jimmy Hitula's mostly monstrous riffs.

Highs: "Shades Of Black," "Fight Song" and "Morning After."

Lows: The gang chorus on "Chosen Few" that robs the track of much of its power.

Bottom line: A good album that embraces the sounds of the 1980s, with a few dated-feeling moments.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)