Released: 2003, Nuclear Blast Records
It’s might seem odd how I think of Sinner as a side project for Mat Sinner as a result of being a Primal Fear freak since their inception. Like many, I didn’t hear about Sinner until after I heard Primal Fear’s first album in 1998. Soon after I discovered that Mat was not only the bassist and backing singer in one of my newest favorite bands, but was also the lead vocalist and bass player for his own band – Sinner.
Sinner released their first album, WILD ‘N’ EVIL, way back in 1982! As they get closer to the 20-album mark, the band is still very much alive and is becoming much more known in North America as a result of the success of Primal Fear. On THERE WILL BE EXECUTION, the music doesn’t often stray from what I’ve come to expect from Primal Fear. This should be no surprise, not only because of the presence of Mat Sinner but also in the band are two other Primal Fear alumni: guitarist Henny Wolter (ex-Primal Fear and ex-Thunderhead) and Tom Naumann (who was with Primal Fear from the beginning until after JAWS OF DEATH then he left and is now back in PF following Henny’s departure). So basically we have a Primal Fear guitar section here and on drums we have Saxon’s drummer – Fritz Randow! How’s that for musical chairs eh? This makes me wonder why Mat continues with both bands when they sound so much alike and share members (current and ex-members). I’m not at all complaining though!! We now have two similar bands that both kick ass. Primal Fear’s Ralf does backing vocals on this Sinner album on the song “Finalizer.” If I would not of read this, I would not have guessed he was there which is too bad. They should have at least let him wail a bit here. I guess that would make it sound way too much like Primal Fear. Another similarity between the bands is the actual sound, especially on the guitar rhythms. Right from the album opener, “Higher Level of Violence”, the guitars have that same bright and thick sound that is common for Primal Fear. The main difference emerges in the vocals. Mat does not “wail” or sing high at all. His vocals are much lower and much, much grittier. My favorite moments on this album are those where the songs are more upbeat and remind me of Primal Fear to some degree. Those songs would be “Higher Level of Violence”, the very catchy title track “There Will Be Execution”, “Requiem For A Sinner”, the near thrash of “Finalizer”, the classic metal roar of “Black Monday” with it’s huge sounding intro riffs. “Die On Command” sounds less like Primal Fear and more like a slow and heavy Fight song from WAR OF WORDS (perhaps a bit of “Immortal Sin”). “Locked And Loaded” sounds more like Accept with mid-tempo bang thy head groove riffing. More slower paced grooving metal is found on “Liberty of Death”. With “The River” we have a stand out track because it’s not like the others on here at all. This is more like something you could hear on rock radio alongside one of the other current nu-rock/post grunge bands. I like the chorus in this one, but overall this is not the kind of song I get off on. Same thing goes for the album closer “Crown of Thorns” where I swear I hear a Billy Idol vocal influence, especially on the line where he says “catch my fall” haha… It’s an OK tune for an acoustic song I guess, but again not exactly what I’m into….except for that Billy Idol part – yeah REBEL YELL is a hidden classic album I listen to every now and then!!!
If you like Primal Fear then you’ll no doubt like something about Sinner. If you are approaching this band from the other side, as a Sinner fan that is not so much into Primal Fear then I honestly don’t know how you’ll take this album since I am not in your shoes. I can tell you this is great classic sounding heavy metal so I can’t imagine why past Sinner fans would not love THERE WILL BE EXECUTION.