SINISTER REALM - Same - SHADOW KINGDOM
Look, this here writer is as partial to classic heavy metal as anyone. Like most fans, I want this style to remain and thrive. Along those lines, supporting a small label like Shadow Kingdom is important. Those are every reason to support or praise this record. Who doesn’t want a heavy metal band from America (Pennsylvania) to make it? It would shut up all the whatever core bands and undermine their fans.
Unfortunately, though, Sinister Realm is still slightly below average. First, there is the dark and formulaic cover. More importantly, is the half-hearted production. Most importantly, the music just isn’t that good. At first, the band sounds heavily influenced by early Candlemass in both vocal (Alex Kristof) and musical divisions. The concluding songs of the album, though, are more akin to Iron Maiden. Mongol Horde is influenced by early Iron Maiden. Even more Maiden-ish is the straight Maiden circa 1984 rip-off of Enter The Sinister Realm. You could play that track, along with its bass lines and guitar melodies, for Steve Harris and he wouldn’t recognize it as someone else’s song. The rest of the tracks on the disc lack enough enthusiasm.
Perhaps part of the problem is that before spinning Sinister Realm for two days straight my CD player was hosting a Dio album. But then the question is if a Dio album is 80/100 how could one give this record a similar grade? Surely, this is nowhere near as good as Holy Diver and shouldn’t be accorded a review as such! Still, let’s wish Sinister realm good luck and perseverance. - Anna Tergel