Review Summary: There was a time when god's once walked amongst men.
Literally, words cannot describe how awesome this album is. So here's a snippet:"riff, chug, smash, death, fuk, riff, blast, non stop." Sinister is one of the best death metal bands to come out of the osdm scene as well as being one of my favorites. They've been "thrashing hard" since 1988. Unfortunately, Sinister only has only 3 out of 9 good albums; being their first 3, along with a couple of good demos. Sinister's musical style is one of aggression and emotional atmosphere. Their first two albums "Cross the Styx" and "Diabolical Summoning" offer more of an upfront aggressive style, while their 3rd release, "Hate", carries similar styles of aggression yet it favors more towards areas of emotional atmosphere, due to the progressing elements of musical layers.
Tracks like "Awaiting the Absu" and the end of "Art of the Damned" have mid tempoed moments of musical layers that expand Sinister's sound, giving them a distinct signature amongst other osdm artist'. The guitars and drums carry the ability to immediately transition from an aggressive state straight into a picked appreggiated riff pattern that plays perfectly off the drums double bass and blast beats. These elements tend to linger just long enough as they progress through different textures, until the fury of aggression returns. This blending of mid tempos can be found throughout "Hate" and are always presented in a tasteful way but can sometimes lessen the blow of pounding "in your face" riffs.
The vocals are a high point of "Hate" because of their decipherability. Vocalist Mike Van Mastrigt gives his greatest performance on "To Mega Therion" where he clearly annunciates gutturals that range up to high pitched screams. I had no trouble in understanding his chants of "SATAN WILL BE VICTORIOUS IN THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON". This clear presentation of lyrics has always been a highlight of Mike's execution and adds to the emotional impact of musical layers and speedy trems.
The riffing styles are particularly notable as every single riff pattern attempts to push the boundaries of death metal rather than taking a lax disposition. "Embodiment of Chaos" manages to fuse several technical riffs into each other while making each riff stand out as much as the rest.
This is Sinister's last good album and shows the band's first signs of weakness as riffs start to become less original than their earliest of releases[and also before Sinister began playing indie pop]. Even with this fact, "Hate" is still one hell of a solid album that should always be considered as being one of the best to come out of the osdm scene.