Released: 2007, MTM Music/Zink Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Musician and band leader Mat Sinner is a busy man. When he isn’t out on tour with Primal Fear he releases albums with his own band Sinner. With both a new album and a new label, it’s time for Sinner to conquer the world with their melodic German heavy metal. Even though there are keyboards involved, the music is mainly guitar-based. The guitar playing is brilliantly perfomed by fellow Primal Fear member Tom Naumann as well as Christof Leim. Mat Sinner does not only play bass; he also sings. From time to time, Sinner’s music has obvious musical similarities with Primal Fear. Beside the band there are a few guests on the album, like the well-known Andy B. Franck (Brainstorm), Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), and Martin Grimm (Mystic Prophecy).
MASK OF INSANITY includes 11 songs. One of them is a cover of the Thin Lizzy song “Baby Please Don’t Go” which is going to be featured on the limited version of the album along with a video for the song “Diary of Evil”.
All of the songs are high quality, but the album’s killer tracks and my personal favorites ought to be “The Other Side”, “Black”, “Thunder Roar”, “Revenge”, “Under the Gun”, and “Last Man Standing”. All of them are melodic heavy metal at its absolute best, and they leans towards the Primal Fear sound. Other great tracks worth mentioning are “Diary of Evil”, “Badlands”, and “Can’t Stand the Heat” which feel a lot like melodic heavy metal tracks and smell a little like late 70’s/early 80’s bands like Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden with a lot of guitar duels. The tempo plays a secondary role to heaviness, and some of these songs sound an awful lot like Thin Lizzy. “The Sign” and “No Return” are unfortunately two pretty ordinary ballads that the album could have done without. If it wasn’t for these ballads, the album could have received a higher rating. MASK OF INSANITY closes with “Baby Please Don’t Go” which is a brilliant cover that goes a little faster than the original with sharp guitar playing by Nauman and Leim.
Mat Sinner produced the album by himself, and just like the album the production is a little out of the ordinary. Sinner has once again outdone himself when it comes to the production, but on the other hand, what can go wrong when this German hard ’n’ heavy mastermind is in charge? This is an excellent album that ought to appeal not only to Sinner fans but all fans of classic melodic German heavy metal. Next up for Sinner is a tour in Europe with the Norwegian act TNT which is a package I am surely going to see.