Sister Sin – Now and Forever
2012, Victory Records
2. End of the Line
3. Fight Song
4. In It For Life
5. Hearts of Cold
6. The Chosen Few
7. Hang ‘Em High
8. I’m Not You
9. Shades of Black
10. Running Low
11. Morning After
Sister Sin have returned with Now and Forever and it’s a relentless old-school metal album with catchy choruses and sense of melody. Nothing hooked into my brain immediately like “Outrage” from True Sound of the Underground did but I’ve warmed up to the album after a few listens. It’s obvious the band is still delivering hard-crunching metal anthems with songs like “End of the Line”, “Fight Song” and “The Chosen Few”.
Despite some mainstream coverage that band has received and the various “Hot Women in Metal” lists Liv Jagrell has been included in, I’m happy to see the band isn’t selling out and creating a sound that’s more commercial. Sister Sin is still straight up hard-crunching, raw metal and they don’t attempt that rock/pop crossover like Halestorm (another band that features a hot female lead singer) sometimes does.
There is one ballad (“Morning After”) on the album but ballads aren’t anything new to metal bands. And it’s actually one of the better songs on the album. While I don’t want to ever see this band loading up their albums with ballads, I think they should definitely think about including one or two on the next release.
This is a solid album that will not disappoint fans of the band.
Highlights: “End of the Line”, “Fight Song”, “The Chosen Few”, “Hang ‘Em High”, “Morning After”
I’m really surprised by how many albums I enjoyed this year. I have a pitiful memory so I had to go back through my blog to remind myself what came out this year but I was floored when my Top 10 list was changed to a Top 20 list, then to a Top 30 list! I knocked it back down to a Top 25 list to make it seem a tiny bit more exclusive.
If you haven’t checked out any of these 25 albums, I wholeheartedly recommend you do so. 2010 was an amazing year for rock & metal, much MUCH better than 2009. I don’t see how 2011 can compete!
I’ll keep it short and sweet with my awards. As always, check the links for full reviews.
Best Albums of 2010
1. Avenged Sevenfold – Nightmare
2. Buckcherry – All Night Long
3. Scorpions – Sting in the Tail
4. Halford – Made of Metal
5. Slash – s/t
6. Black Country Communion – s/t
7. Avantasia – Angel of Babylon
8. Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony
9. Accept – Blood of the Nations
10. Hinder – All American Nightmare
11. Jettblack – Get Your Hands Dirty
12. Reckless Love – s/t
13. Bad City – Welcome to the Wasteland
14. Stone Temple Pilots – s/t
15. Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier
16. Krokus – Hoodoo
17. Helloween – 7 Sinners
18. Sister Sin – True Sound of the Underground
19. My Darkest Days – s/t
20. Stereoside – s/t
21. Y&T – Facemelter
22. Danko Jones – Below The Belt
23. Grave Digger – The Clans Will Rise Again
24. Jon Oliva’s Pain – Festival
25. Ratt – Infestation
Top Cover Albums
Seems like every year a few established artists like to cover a few *other* established artists, not to mention all those various tribute albums that small labels will slap together. Well, here’s my official ranking of the three cover albums I bothered to listen to this year. Luckily, all three albums were good fun and I think they all deserve another mention.
Top Live Albums
Again, I don’t buy a lot of live albums, but here’s how I rank what I listened to this year.
1. Dio – Dio at Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987
2. Heaven & Hell – Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell – Live In Europe
3. Megadeth – Rust In Peace Live
4. The Michael Schenker Group – The 30th Anniversary Concert: Live in Tokyo
Most Disappointing Albums
1. Ratt – Infestation
The album was good, don’t get me wrong. It landed at #25 on my Best Of list for Dio’s sake! But… most of the songs had trouble living up to the promise of “Eat Me Up Alive” and “Best Of Me”.
2. Armored Saint – La Raza
A bland album from a band that has done so much better. They seemed to be going through the motions (to which John Bush has basically admitted in regards to himself). Symbol of Salvation this ain’t.
3. White Wizzard – Over The Top
The High Speed GTO EP garnered this group a lot of hype and buzz. We all fell for it, I know reviews for this album have been positive and it’s not bad but I expected more. Hopefully a second album will get these guys where they need to be.
4. Raven – Walk Through Fire
The terrible cover art should’ve tipped me off that this album was nothing special.
Check out these other sites for even more lists and year-end awards:
All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/
Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/
Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/
Hard Rock Hideout — http://hardrockhideout.com/
Hard Rock Nights — http://hardrocknights.wordpress.com/
Heavy Metal Addiction — http://heavymetaladdiction.com
Heavy Metal Time Machine — http://metalmark.blogspot.com/
Imagine Echoes — http://www.imagineechoes.com/
Layla’s Classic Rock — http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/
The Metal Minute — http://rayvanhornjr.blogspot.com/
Metal Odyssey — http://metalodyssey.wordpress.com/
The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/
Posted in Year End Awards
Tags: 2010, Accept, Armored Saint, Avantasia, Avenged Sevenfold, Bad City, Black Country Communion, Buckcherry, Danko Jones, DesDemon, Dio, Grave Digger, Halford, Hard Rock, Heaven & Hell, Heavy Metal, Helloween, Hinder, Iron Maiden, Jettblack, Joe Elliott's Down 'N' Outz, Jon Oliva's Pain, Jorn, Krokus, Megadeth, Metal, Michael Schenker, Michael Schenker Group, Music, My Darkest Days, Ratt, Raven, Razorwyre, Reckless Love, Rock, Scorpions, Sister Sin, Skull Fist, Slash, Stereoside, Stone Temple Pilots, Vince Neil, White Wizzard, Y&T
Sister Sin – True Sound of the Underground (2010, Victory Records)
1. “Sound of the Underground” … 3:33
2. “Outrage” … 3:26
3. “Better Than Them” … 3:32
4. “24/7” … 3:59
5. “Heading For Hell” … 3:41
6. “I Stand Alone” … 4:09
7. “Built To Last” … 3:25
8. “The Devil I Know” … 3:26
9. “Times Aren’t A-Changing” … 2:55
10. “Nailbiter” … 3:32
11. “Beat Em Down” … 3:30
Liv – Vocals
Jimmy – Guitar
Benton – Bass
Dave – Drums
Producer: Henrik Edenhed
Despite this being their third release, Sister Sin is a band that was totally under the radar to me until about a few weeks ago. There was thread on a message board that I frequent titled ‘Sister Sin’ but for days I didn’t click on it. Just going by the name, I figured it was some melodic power metal band or maybe even something heavier. A few days later, I happened to see the CD in FYE for $9.99 and the sticker on the cellophane said “true street metal for fans of Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Scorpions & Accept!”
I still wasn’t sure if it was worth the money and checked out the thread as soon as I got home and the Myspace link that was inside and absolutely loved the song “Outrage”. I listened to most of this album on their Myspace page and some more positive feedback on this band convinced me to pick it up.
I’m really glad I did. Sister Sin is like the slutty metal sister of Halestorm in a way. Liv’s vocals are powerful, not quite on the level of Halestorm’s Lzzy but very close. Both of these bands feature a strong female rock vocalist and have hooky modern hard rock sounds but while Halestorm has more of a post-grunge influence (and a bit of “Kelly Clarkson rock” on a few tracks), Sister Sin revels in pure old school sleaze & heavy metal and why not? They’re Swedish! It’s practically a legal requirement for any hard rock act from Sweden to pay homage to the ’80s glam and sleaze acts.
Don’t get me wrong though, Sister Sin isn’t a retro band but their idols are obvious. While the Motley influence is there, they don’t necessarily sound like Priest, Scorpions and Accept but I definitely agree this band is for fans of type of music. However, there is an Accept connection after all– Udo Dirkschneider wrote the lyrics to “24/7”.
As much as I love supporting the veteran acts, it’s great and refreshing to hear new bands coming up with their own twists on hard rock & heavy metal. I wasn’t even sure if I was gonna enjoy Sister Sin just because I usually don’t care for female vocalists but True Sound of the Underground is yet another great release in 2010 and has been a featured album in my car and on my computer since I bought it. It’s hard, heavy, fast and it isn’t alternative. What more could you ask for?
Highlights: “Sound of the Underground”, “Outrage”, “Better Than Them”, “24/7”, “I Stand Alone”, “Nailbiter”