Released: 2013, Victory Records
Following closely on the heels of 2012’s END OF THE LINE, Sister Sin has re-released their first album re-mastered and with the addition of a few demos and cover songs. Also included in the package are new cover art, and a full color fold out poster. DANCE OF THE WICKED was originally released in 2003, the Swedish band composing a raw and unrefined style of metal, clearly influenced by Warlock and Motorhead among others. Fronting the band is the energetic Liv Jagrell, who employs a tough and gritty vocal style that recalls Doro, Lita Ford and fellow Swedes, Crucified Barbara.
The signature song on the album is the title track with one of the band’s best choruses accompanied by an almost marching feel. “Love Lies” is another good tune, reminiscent of SHOUT AT THE DEVIL in its simple but effective riffs and catchy hook. Jagrell also uses a more varied vocal style on this tune. There are an abundance of good riffs, basic and economical that helps drive most of the songs on the album. The demo’s sound like almost fully realized songs, the best of which became a single in 2007 being “Minor You (Major Me)”. Like several tunes on the album, this one again reveals the band’s love affair with the SHOUT AT THE DEVIL album. The cover tunes are fairly standard and uninspired choices quite frankly, even if they are executed decently. The world simply does not need any more versions of The Rolling Stone’s “Painted Black.” The other is a duet with Doro on the Motorhead original, “Rock n Roll”, another band that has had a huge influence on Sister Sin.
For fans of the band, the three new demos are decent, with two I had never heard before. The cover tunes are likewise pretty good versions, but not remarkable. Not having heard the original production, I cannot comment on whether the re-issue is an improvement, but it sound raw and energetic, suitably conveying the essence of the band without robbing it of soul through over processing. Jimmy Hitula was an awesome guitar player even at this stage in the bands development, and while he clearly loved Mick Mars’s guitar style, he is a better soloist than Mick. In sum, DANCE OF THE WICKED is competent meat and potatoes metal, fairly standard but enthusiastically executed. Fans of early Motley Crue, Warlock, and Motorhead will enjoy DANCE OF THE WICKED, especially since the band’s sound has not changed much since this first release and is a good place for new fans to discover the band.