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Sinner - "Crash & Burn" (CD)

Sinner - "Crash & Burn" CD cover image

"Crash & Burn" track listing:

1. Crash & Burn
2. Break The Silence
3. The Dog
4. Heart Of Darkness
5. Revolution
6. Unbreakable
7. Fist To Face
8. Until It Hurts
9. Little Head
10. Connection
11. Like A Rock

Reviewed by on August 4, 2009

"The band goes pure pop-rock on 'Revolution,' with a chorus that reminds me more of the Black Crowes or the 'Exile On Main Street'-era Rolling Stones than anything 'metal.'"

With "Crash & Burn," German metal stalwarts Sinner have created a smorgasbord of sounds from the '70s and early '80s, spiced with Judas Priest fury, AC/DC grooves, and the pop sheen of Thin Lizzy. Sure, that means that this meal comes with a hefty helping of cheese — but it's often tasty cheese indeed.

Bassist and singer Mat Sinner has been in the game long enough to know what works for him and his band, in whatever incarnation it exists. Thus, we sprint right out of the gate with the early '80s-style basher "Crash & Burn," which races along in a manner reminiscent of Judas Priest's "Freewheel Burning." Mat Sinner's voice has roughened up a bit since the days of "Fast Decision" in the early '80s, and this song's all the better for it. Plus, the dual-guitar assault of Henny Wolter and Christof Leim is undeniably excellent.

Unfortunately, the next track, "Break The Silence," is a by-the-numbers early '80s metal track, with little to recommend it.

The next track, "The Dog," owes much to AC/DC, but it also shows an interesting Ian Gillan quality that Mat Sinner has developed over the years. Sure, the lyrics about being "the dog that bites the hand that feeds" and "the dog that bit the master" are cheesy, but they match the aggressive blues stomp well.

The band goes pure pop-rock on "Revolution," with a chorus that reminds me more of the Black Crowes or the "Exile On Main Street"-era Rolling Stones than anything "metal." It's a fun little toe-tapper, with Klaus Sperling doing his best impression of the Stones' Charlie Watts.

Though I'll gleefully admit it's the cheesiest song on the album, my favorite track is the aggressive barroom brawler "Fist To Face," which sounds like a weird blend of Priest and Motorhead.

On the downside, the ballad "Until It Hurts" is pretty bad, with Mat Sinner's rough vocals clashing badly with the clean guitars.

There are also plenty of average tracks that neither impress or depress, ranging from the poppy "Little Head," to the oh-so-Thin Lizzy "Connection," (which also bears a striking resemblance to Sinner's own early-'80s track "Trouble Boys," if you ask me).

Still, "Crash & Burn" is a fun bit of nostalgic new material (if that makes any sense at all) from a metal veteran with more than a quarter-century of success. If you're a fan of Sinner (or Mat Sinner's Primal Fear), it's worth picking up for a few spins — but don't be surprised if that's all you give it.

Highs: "The Dog;" the title track "Crash & Burn."

Lows: The ballad "Until It Hurts;" plenty of average filler songs.

Bottom line: Enjoyable in a nostalgic kind of way for those of us who lived through the '80s, but not vital unless you're a Sinner fan.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

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)