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Sister Sin - Dance of the Wicked Review

by Matt Hensch

Sandwiched between a cornucopia of Victory Records' metalcore factions and metalcore-related progenies is Sister Sin, a Swedish female-fronted heavy metal machine. Releasing a number of well-received opuses (no doubt thanks to Victory's efficiency) that carry a fire similar in heat and color to that of the flames of Crucified Barbara or Doro to name a few, Sister Sin's beginnings include a little twenty-eight minute collection of snazzy heavy metal/hard rock tunes called "Dance of the Wicked." Those dogs running Victory took the liberty of repackaging and reissuing the record, stuffing in a lot of goodies in the process, which is fine, but they forgot to include something ridiculous like The Ghost Phallos Mortuus Ritual Box Set, which is a load of sh*t so this gets a zero.

I'm joking—there's little different to the actual reissue other than a new cover art (better than the original yet both are still dreadful) and a handful of bonus tracks. I suppose one could dub Sister Sin's beginnings humble, for the group's antics throughout "Dance of the Wicked" are adequate and lively staples of old-school heavy metal/hard rock with the goods to sustain their own existences, clearly paying homage to Motörhead, the aforementioned cohorts, and so on. There's nothing over-the-top or fattening here; just Sister Sin's early days captured in their raw, dirty glories. "Dance of the Wicked" is no masterpiece and frankly it looks like a band biting off way more than it could chew at the time, but it's still not too shabby, and there are definitely some diamonds hidden in the pile of dirt and sleaze.

Sister Sin's shining star is Liv Jagrell, whose voice is a total powerhouse of sonic electricity. She completely owns this album, bringing out traditional aspects of the female rock singer ŕ la Doro Pesch mixed with bluesy, silky low notes similar to that of Danzig's. Her performance is absolutely phenomenal. "Dance of the Wicked" is otherwise pretty standard fare for this type of thing, using chorus-based rockers that run through the gamut of guitar leads and riffs without overcomplicating the overall picture. The payoff is sort of rocky, however; there are varying degrees of consistency between the eight anthems. "Kiss the Sky" and "Fall Into my Dreams" are stellar, delicious cuts of heavy metal goodness, while others like the title track and "Tragedy Loves Company" could've used a little more development. "Love Lies" and "Dirty Damn" are two general and paper-thin rockers that have been served by countless others beforehand. Oh well.

The cover of "Paint it Black" is decent, but it really isn't a huge deal since every band ever has covered "Paint it Black" at some point or another. The reissue's added content (mostly demos) is pretty useless, but it does include a baller cover of Motörhead's "Rock 'n' Roll" featuring none other than Doro Pesch as a guest vocalist; it's one of those they-f**king-nailed-it kind of tributes. Other than that, "Dance of the Wicked" is listenable, fun, catchy, burning hot heavy metal. Some of the elements are undeveloped and myopic, but most of the album shows Sister Sin feeling around the edges and warming up to the long and endearing world of heavy metal. Good stuff.

Sister Sin - Dance of the Wicked


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