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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

REVIEW: Sinner (GER) - Touch of Sin (1985)

sinner ger touch of sin 1985

Sinner are formerly rather traditional heavy metal band from Germany. Many of you metalheads probably recognize them from Touch Of Sin's predecessor album "Danger Zone" (probably their best known album from the eighties), released in 1984, but less may be aware that Sinner debuted already in 1982 with "Wild 'N Evil". Compared to Danger Zone, with Touch Of Sin album Sinner evolved into slightly more commercial and rocking (yet still hard beating and heavy) sound. This is the period in Sinners early career, where they succeeded mixing commercial hard rock with heavy metal, without sucking! Comin' Out Fightning, which followed soon after, was still a decent record, although there were already signs of Sinner losing their early heaviness. After that album, Dangerous Charm was released and the band switched the main gear to wards AOR (losing their early rawness and heavier edge totally). That led to some of the most embarrassing Sinner material released this far, but that's an another story right there (and luckily they returned into the right tracks later on)..

Touch Of Sin contains slightly more melodic lead guitar work than Danger Zone, and throws pretty fine and bombastic hard rock into the mixture, but loses some of that heavy-as-shit in-your-face-attitude featured in previous album (Danger Zone). The result is still quite hard beating heavy metal, but with a bit more commercial rocking edge on the sound combined. Touch Of Sin is not quite as raw as Danger Zone, but still heavy. Most of Touch Of Sin album is definite headbanging material with rather easily approachable rocking tone, but in a good meaning. The album is surprisingly well made and entertaining. Sinner does not "sell out" with Touch Of Sin, despite the album having slightly more "mainstream" appeal than it's predecessor. This testosterone-filled record screams for fumes of whiskey and sound of motorcycles to accompany it's tunes.

Touch Of Sin is not very speedy album overall. What the album lacks in terms of overall speed, it catches up in bottom heavy, thick, and evil rocking German sound. No wonder, as Herman Frank from Accept plays second guitar in the record along with SG Stoner after being departed from Accept since Balls To The Wall album! Mat Sinner's rough and gritty medium pitched thick vocals with slight German accent, and occasional higher pitched shrieks, fits like fist to face. Touch Of Sin is slight step backwards in overall heaviness compared to totally in-your-face and frank Danger Zone, but it's still heavy, and wins in more memorable lead melodies and is more catchy. So, if the guitar riffs are mostly hard rock influenced, then how can the album sound rather heavy? Well, along with Mat Sinner's dirty vocal delivery, the guitar tone is also rather thick and riffs by SG Stoner and Herman Frank are crunchy, the bass playing of Mat is loud and audible, and rather generic but thundering and bombastic drumming by Bernie van der Graaf (ex-Victory) stacks up the heaviness. Sound would be somewhat comparable to Accept's "Balls To The Wall" in terms of heaviness, if not slightly above.

Slower and churning rockers here include my two favorites Born to Rock and Out of Control, which both kicks ass in similar fashion than Accept's "Balls To The Wall", perhaps with slightly more hard rocking tone. Tempo speeds up with melodic headbangers which include Bad Girl, Masquerade and Emerald, of which especially the later two kick ass, and do feature some fine catchy and simple lead melodies. Shout is just mid-fast in-your-face track with nice guitar solo parts and may well be the best track of the album despite its kinda goofy lyrics:

"we are no fools for girls
and we have money
there are enough hot chicks
who wanna taste our honey"

Cheesy? Yes. You can't really those lyrics seriously, but combined with dirty and uplifting musical atmosphere the lyrics work like charm, in sort of non-serious, fun way. The most unmemorable tracks in my opinion are faster paced Too Late To Runaway which is just average, and Open Arms which fails with the it's disastrously cheesy AOR-like chorus. Also, pop-rock influenced Fast Decision and half-arsed ballad The Storm Broke Loose don't do much.

Touch Of Sin is overall very strong record, despite not being quite as heavy and metallic as it's predecessor Danger Zone. Here's an old good and easily approachable record which succeeds to mix all that eighties hard rock -cheese with catchy tunes and heavy metal, sounding slightly commercial and heavy like Balls To The Wall at the same time. It's not hard to see guitarist Herman Frank's (ex-Accept) influence to Sinner's sound on the album. Touch Of Sin is one of those mellow and evil mixtures which do work. Simple and very effective, rocking, and very thick rhythm guitar riffs, and Mat Sinner's rough vocals are the trademark on the album. Lead guitar melodies are well timed and are to be found occasionally on key-spots and more commonly in the few most melodic songs. This is a definite record for summer time or heavy metal parties, and it demands some beer or whiskey! Somehow, several German eighties heavy metal bands just so often succeeded mixing that less serious and fun attitude with sounding heavy, dirty, and evil, and creating something massively entertaining of it. Take a look at the bigger bands like Accept, or minors Vampyr, Tyrant, Railway, and Noisehunter for example. You can add Sinner's Touch Of Sin to that list and rank it quite close to the top positions. Touch Of Sin is one damn entertaining and cheesy record to listen to, with rock solid professional performance and excellent production values.

86 | reviewer: dungeoncrawler

  • Mat Sinner - Vocals, Bass
  • SG Stoner - Guitars
  • Herman Frank - Guitars
  • Bernie van der Graaf - Drums

  • 1. Born To Rock 04:01
  • 2. Emerald 03:54
  • 3. Bad Girl 03:52
  • 4. Shout! 03:42
  • 5. The Storm Broke Loose 04:16
  • 6. Out Of Control 03:44
  • 7. Too Late To Run Away 03:45
  • 8. Hand Of Fate 03:49
  • 9. Masquerade 03:18
  • 10. Open Arms 04:10
    • Total running time: 38:31

For Collectors:
(Following prices have raised since ’99 but will give you direction)
Used album price @ Martin Popoff’s Heavy Metal Record Price Guide (1999):

Label – Noise/N0026
Type – LP/G/85
Near Mint – $13
Very Good+ - $7

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