The heavy metal world has given birth to a fair number of legends. But none like Mat Sinner. Such conviction, lifeblood and self-sacrifice, such pure heavy metal spirit, and such dedication are qualities not usually found bundled within one single person.
Since 1982 he’s fronted the band named after him. In 1997, he single-handedly made power metal presentable again with PRIMAL FEAR while as musical director of the fabulously successful »Rock Meets Classic« trek, he regularly brought two different musical worlds and illustrious guests together on stage. Now he makes his triumphant return with SINNER. Three years since the release of »Santa Muerte« and an incredible 40 years after the band’s debut, »Brotherhood« is here – a massive album boasting a title that is self-explanatory as its creator’s mission.
“This band is held together by a tight bond of friendship,” says Mat Sinner. “Without this friendship, SINNER simply would not exist.” Made up of Sinner, guitarist Tom Naumann — who has been with SINNER for 35 years — guitarist Alex Scholpp, and, since 2018, drummer Markus Kullmann. With these gentlemen, Sinner knows he can achieve anything. And that’s what »Brotherhood«, SINNER’s 18th record, is all about. It is an album that carries the band’s close bond in its heart just as much as the brotherhood of the worldwide heavy metal family. Notes Sinner, “We belong together, and this album is meant to express that.”
Of course, one might point out that basically, every SINNER album deserves to be called »Brotherhood«. But this one, Mat Sinner is sure, deserves the tag more than any other. Here is a record that documents struggles, symbolizes unity, celebrates the underdogs, and honors the metal subculture. The very DNA of SINNER, the deepest core, and the innermost nucleus are brought to new bloom on »Brotherhood«. With hooks, riffs, and precise heaviness, Mat Sinner revitalizes virtues that he helped develop four decades earlier. And even though he can play this music in his sleep and there is metal for blood in his veins, the very force, immensity, and razor-sharp riffs will make members of the innermost SINNER fan circle keel over.
The wild chase begins with opener ‘Bulletproof,’ an overture that takes as few prisoners as JUDAS PRIEST’s »Painkiller« once did. ‘We Came To Rock’ is a self-explanatory manifesto with skull-splitting riffing and a hefty punch; the title track already serves as one of heavy metal’s anthems of the year 2022, and ‘Refuse To Surrender,’ a heavy mid-tempo crusher, is like an outstretched middle finger to all the doubters who’ve already written SINNER off. The fire blazes miraculously brighter than ever. This also applies to the epic gloom of ‘The Last Generation,’ a wake-up call for society.
Their goal is clear: “Harder, bigger, louder,” as chief strategist Sinner puts it. “I was also going for an international sound.” That he got. And not from some producer. Instead, Mat Sinner not only wrote the album and laid the tracks for vocals and bass; alongside his comrade Naumann, he also produced the whole affair, lending »Brotherhood« a muscular and confident attitude. “For mixing and mastering, however, I went to my old buddy Jacob Hansen,” he grins. You know him from his arena-worthy work for VOLBEAT, of course.
Anyone who listens to »Brotherhood« will quickly realize one thing: SINNER probably never sounded so huge, self-confident, and hungry. Big words, we know. Of course, this is also thanks in part to the impressive guest list that the restless mastermind has gathered around this album like bards around a campfire. KAMELOT virtuoso Oliver Palotai provides the sublime orchestrations, PRIMAL FEAR buddy Ralf Scheepers is a guest singer alongside RAINBOW vocalist Ronnie Romero, Tom Englund of EVERGREY, and death metal legend Dave Ingram of BENEDICTION. As with his band, the same applies when it comes to musical guests: it has to be a personal fit. “I only work with friends and longtime companions,” Sinner clarifies. For someone like him, of course, this is easy talk: if you’ve been around as long as Mat Sinner, and you’re such a damn fine guy to boot, you’ve got the talents of half the metal world on speed dial. »Brotherhood« profits from this. And bangs with timpani and trumpets right into the throne room.
02. We Came To Rock
03. Reach Out
05. Refuse To Surrender
06. The Last Generation
08. The Man They Couldn’t Hang
09. The Rocker Rides Away
10. My Scars
11. 40 Days 40 Nights
Bonus Track (physical only!)
12. When You Were Young (THE KILLERS Cover)
Mat Sinner | vocals, bass
Tom Naumann | guitars
Alex Scholpp | guitars
Markus Kullmann | drums