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Another Home-Run from the British Metal Kings - 95%

ballcrushingmetal, July 10th, 2016
Written based on this version: 1987, CD, Columbia Records

Regardless of the inconsistent musical foundation behind "Sin After Sin, the album shows a more mature side of the band and the blueprint on which they built their way forward. Furthermore, the music featured herein would also provide much of the rhythmical construction for several speed, power and thrash metal bands, in other words, almost everything but the most extreme subgenres/forms of metal. And believe it or not, this rhythmical construction would be provided not just by the tremendous guitar duo formed by Tipton and Downing, but also by the teenager, talented drummer Simon Phillips, who in just few minutes of an impressing performance would show the first references of certain drumming techniques such as the double-bass.

The album is opened in such an impressing fashion by "Sinner", which is quite tricky, since despite of the softer riffs and the Zeppelinesque influences featured therein, it is full of speedish drumming passages, such as the ones played during the chorus, which are somehow similar to many other that would be featured in "Painkiller". Then, the Joan Baez cover "Diamonds and Rust" is much more of a Halford thing due to the strong emphasis given to his vocals, and his intonation throughout the lines of the song would be part of different compositions of many European power metal bands; but rather than simply that, it is one of the best covers ever done in the heavy metal history, simply played in their own way.

And even though the band left behind much of the atmosphere and sound of their preceding album, the ballads did not run with this luck. The band wrote two impressive ballads ("Last Rose of the Summer" and "Here Comes the Tears"), and the dark and gothic lyrics embedded in the songs would fit perfectly the soft and dark atmosphere of these ballads. "Call for the Priest" holds one of the basic constructions that would be featured in speed metal music, and it is possible to mention a good number of songs built on this blueprint, starting with the slower-paced epic Blind Fury's number "Out of Reach" and also their faster opening track "Do It Fast, Do It Loud".

The stellar moment of the album is the closing track "Dissident Aggressor", which is tremendously ahead of its time. Firstly, since the song features a drumming technique which would not be common during the 70's, that is the double bass drumming. Furthermore, its riffs are stronger than in any song of the album, providing a very aggressive sound, which altogether with "Tyrant" would estimulate the creative abilities of Kerry King and company in such a way that no single band would ever do. Definitely, it is the most vicious song and the heavier moment of the band in the album.

Perhaps "Sin After Sin" is not considered the most memorable release of the band; however, it is one of the most influential. And after their succeeding release "Stained Class", the band was leading into a huge commercial success that unfortunately would put things in a wrong place. That is, masterpieces like this one would be forgotten and abandoned, and other average releases like "British Steel" would be overrated. Therefore, the album is recommended for people who really want further knowledge on heavy metal music, but it is mostly advisable to give it a chance. It would provide excellent moments for sure.