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Four years ago I heard about the band Sister Sin. Most people had denigrated or ridiculed the band as being of sub-par quality, yet after hearing "One Out of Ten" I was convinced that with a little polish this band could become a good band in the style of '80s hard rock or arena rock bands such as Def Leppard or Mötley Crüe. The third album, "True Sound of the Underground", had me convinced they had finally smoothed out their rough edges, but they couldn't do any better.
That is, until I heard "Now and Forever".
"Now and Forever" is the fourth effort from this band and it possesses a simple hard rock backbone driven by basic, powerful drumming and driving bass lines similar to Motörhead, fronted by brazen guitar work and thundering riffs. The vocalist is sharp, screeching along to the tunes similar to a female version of Vince Neil.
After a very short intro called MMXII (also known as 2012), the album really starts to pick up steam. The guitar playing on every song between "End of the Line" and "Running Low" is fast, furious, and simplistic, yet effective. The bass supports it nicely in a secondary role, adding an ominous feel to the album. The drums are forceful and hard-hitting in the style of drummers such as Tommy Lee, Matt Cameron, Dave Grohl, or more recently, Nia Lovelis. If anything is wrong with this album, it's that the rhythms are a bit too rudimentary. This is shown on tracks like "I'm Not You" and "The Chosen Few?" where the riffs are smooth, but elementary. Indeed, this is not a Triosphere or a Threshold album, but it's not trying to be. It simply took everything that worked with "True Sound of the Underground" and cleaned up most of what didn't work.
The most interesting thing about this album is that the last two songs start slowing down the intensity as if the roller coaster ride was coming to an end. Track 10, "Shades of Black", is a gorgeous mid-tempo song that slows down the ferocity and magnitude, but keeps the passion of the first nine tracks. The final track, "Morning After", is a ballad. No telling whether this has to do with the idea of December 21, 2012 not being the end of the world. However, "Morning After" is a change of pace for Sister Sin and it shows a diversity for all the members of the band, similar to how "1916" by Motorhead was a successful transition for them. Does it work? If you want to see a gentler side of Sister Sin, then yes it does.
Sister Sin has made great advances over the last four years to refine their sound and with this album, they have the 1980's ballsy, no excuses hard rock tonality and resonance down to a science. If you miss those days and just want to hear it again, this album will be a godsend for you. If not, you might want to pick it up anyways because a couple more albums like this and they will be the next big thing in hard rock.