Review written by Justin Stevens, guest contributor
The word “Metal” conjures up ideas of electric guitars, in your face vocals and an excuse to yell, scream and kick your way through lyrics. This may be the case for some bands but Sinistra’s self-titled debut album is anything but this statement. From the first track, “The Shame of your Name”, Sinistra blares out exactly what it’s going to be: a hard roller coaster ride mixed with hard drums, guitar solos that Guitar Hero enthusiast will wish were download-able extras and a set of songs that doesn’t pander to its audience but instead stands up and says “take me for what I am.”
Born in May of 2007, Sinistra is founded by Andrew Silva whose provides the vocals and is the man behind the majority of each instrument played throughout the album, Jason Rufuss Sewell heads up the guitar solos and bass duties while Zena McKelvy lends her voice to the song “Move On.” Silva’s years of music writing and the urge to put out music that varied from the genre’s current releases lead to Sinistra’s first CD Though previous attempts had been made via tape decks, the readily available sound programs of today allowed Sinistra’s inception to become than a dream and instead a fully tangible metal monster.
Through its enthusiastic hard tones and lyrics, each track propels itself forward without being too over the top and too in your face. Metal fans do not be dismayed, there is the signature anger and rage behind the mic but what’s strived for here is to tell stories of anger and rage as personal reflections on life, relationships and the situations they deliver . One example of such stories is ”Escape” which details the struggles between two people and the extreme differences in how they view their relationship. It’s the depth and perspective put into each track that sets this album apart from the rest.
“Life at the circus” is another great song that plays as a nice jab at the everyday nuances of life and gives a giant middle finger to it all. Successful and reverential, the three minute song ushers in the final track “Charlatan” that seems poignant for this CD, as Sinistra hides among the metal aisle seeking out a spot in your iPod’s play list and then unleashes its true self: a demon of metal, a harbinger of depth and great rock.
An amalgamation of styles and influences that range from Metallica, Sepultura, Sevendust and others, Sinistra makes a definite splash in the Metal genre and is set to make a name for itself in the Austin music scene. With the many music venues in Austin and SXSW it may not be long before Sinistra finds its way to a major label so grab the first album and get ready for the roller coaster.