Released: 2012, Victory Records
Old school metal Swedish band Sister Sin returns in 2012, with their third album NOW AND FOREVER. For those unfamiliar with the band, they formed in 2002 in the fertile metal ground of Gothenburg (Göteborg to the natives). Sister Sin play a vintage style of metal that mostly closely resembles Warlock’s TRIUMPH AND AGONY era but with elements of Mötley Crüe and W.A.S.P. incorporated as well. Thus, it is interesting and surprising to find them on Victory Records, a label that usually signs Nu Metal, Emo and Metalcore acts. Despite the heavy commitment to retro metal, the band utilizes plenty of modern flavors particularly in the loud and booming production and quick harmonized riffs.
Leading the way is the skinny, tattooed front woman Liv Jagrell. Jagrell’s vocal style can be compared to Doro Pesch with elements of Betsy Bitch and even fellow countryman Jocke Berg of Hardcore Superstar. NOW AND FOREVER is probably the band’s most diverse album, incorporating keyboards for the first time on instrumental opener “MMXXII”, which leads into the excellent and driving “End Of The Line”. Jagrell delivers “Fight Song” with spit and venom as the band pumps out a driving riff reminiscent of Mötley Crüe. Actually, most of the album has that driving quality but with trickier riffs and melodies than Mötley Crüe ever employed. Jimmy Hitula is a fantastic guitar player for this style, helping propel these songs beyond simple power chords. With everything up tempo, the albums final track comes as a stylistic surprise and a splash of cold water, being a cover song and primarily a piano ballad. The original was performed by Randy Piper’s Animal, the man that co-founded W.A.S.P. and played guitar on their first 3 albums. Despite this pedigree, the song was wisely positioned as last and you can end the album at track 10 and be happy as “Morning After” is a lackluster snoozer.
The final assessment is that NOW AND FOREVER boasts beautiful modern production and the album as whole is a winner. This is direct and uncomplicated metal, easily absorbed and probably a hell of a lot of fun at a live venue. The downside is that many of the songs start to blend together, and Jagrell does not offer much variety or range in her delivery. However, her attitude and energy help offset the lack of diversity. Fans of W.A.S.P., Warlock, Hardcore Superstar and Mötley Crüe will find value in Sister Sin’s brand of metal and should definitely give NOW AND FOREVER a listen.