Review Summary: Nostalgia.
Sweden’s Sister Sin are signed to Victory Records, a decision that seems rather awkward when you realise the heavy metal/rock quartet are on the same label as pop-punk heavyweights A Day To Remember and hardcore veterans Terror. The label’s decision to re-release the band’s debut Dance of the Wicked for the ten year anniversary also seems fairly redundant – it’s remastered along with a collection of new demo tracks and updated artwork, though it’s no better than the original album cover.
Sister Sin are all about 80s worship, which can be good or bad whichever way you choose to look at it – bands like Motörhead and Judas Priest seem to be at the helm of the band’s sound. As good as that sounds though, the twelve songs presented here in the forty-minute running time just seem so damn average. Each song follows the same structure and each riff sounds just like something that was discarded from the Ace of Spades sessions. The band tries to vary things up with the occasional acoustic section (see the minute-long cliché-titled “End of the Beginning”) but that just seems awkwardly wedged between two other songs. Despite being remastered too, the album’s production isn’t fantastic, and definitely not something you might expect on Victory Records. The whole album has a DIY feel to it which does the instruments no favours. The mixing seems a little odd too, as the backup vocals are so loud to the point of being intrusive.
Really the band’s strongest member seems to be frontwoman Liv Jagrell who is almost operatic. Her vocal delivery and range is absolutely far from being weak. “Dirty Damn” is definitely a highlight for the vocals – as the song runs through, the almost falsetto-esque highs are fantastic and the vocal trills she employs on the hook “Damn I!” make for an interesting listen.
The demo tracks are nothing to get excited about either (though it could be argued they actually have better production than the other songs present here) but not even the cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black” and Motörhead’s “Rock ‘N Roll” (despite the latter being the best song on the album) can salvage Dance of the Wicked from being anything but a horrifically average listen. Though the label, the updated logo and the new artwork might fool some into thinking it’s your standard metalcore, it’s anything but. If there’s one thing that Sister Sin succeed in doing though, it’s creating a sense of nostalgia which reminds us that there were far better bands around during rock ‘n’ roll’s heyday.