Although most so-called ‘supergroups’ ultimately come down to name-checking and little else, one listen to ‘Echoes Of The Tortured’, Sinsaenum‘s skin-flaying debut album, will most certainly make you want to douse yourself in holy water, grab your crucifix, and reel off a few Hail Marys. Put together by Dragonforce bassist Frederic Leclercq and former Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison (both death metal aficionados in their own right), the frankly ridiculous metallic pedigree featured in the band’s iron-clad ranks may suggest ingenuity and brutality in equal measure, but few could have foreseen the gleefully unhallowed racket served up here.
Built on a foundation of pure Morbid Angel-worship, Sinsaenum‘s veering assault, thanks in part to its pristine production, proves to deliver a seamless collision between a primitive extreme metal approach with numerous glimpses of shrewd invention, be it the blackened oddity of ‘Condemned To Suffer’, or the thoroughly unpleasant background noise running through ‘Sacrifice’, all adding to the hellish whole.
Heap on top of this the raging musicianship of a band compromised of veteran fret-wranglers, and ‘Echoes Of The Tortured’ becomes something quite remarkable. With Jordison flagrantly on career-peak form with a display of pitiless hell-blasting (‘Inverted Cross’), numerous ripping guitar leads spanning the whammy-bar insanity/melodic elegance play-books (check out the title track’s exquiste soloing) and the warped vocal tag-team of Sean Zatorsky and Mayhem legend Attila Csihar lending an unholy counter-balance between the former’s traditional deathly bellow and the latter preaching from the seventh circle weirdness (‘Dead Souls’/‘Anfang des Albtraumes’), the sheer technical proficiency offered here is staggering.
Seething with an undercurrent of infernal malice, this twenty one track monster is a veritable feast of aural extremity. With as many shades of Behemoth/Dimmu Borgir grandeur as the thunderous filth of the old school, ‘Echoes Of The Tortured’ plants one foot firmly in the state-of-the-art sonic savagery whilst fully embracing the timeless familiarity of the past. All the more impressive as a debut record, this first outing from Sinsaenum is an ungodly miasma of gnarly treats, and an utter triumph.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)