SINISTER REALM (Demo 2008) MCD-R
Some demos are just so marvelous that they surpass some of the regular releases. This time it applies to the US-band SINISTER REALM which was formed in 2008 by Pale Divine/Falcon drummer Darin McCloskey, ex-Pale Divine bassist John Gaffney and vocalist Alex Kristoff. Such a line-up promises a lot, and in that case the band fulfills all my expectations. Not only that the sound of the demo is very good but also each of the here included four tracks is highly charged with strong riffs, well-conceived arrangements and the icing on the cake are the clear, vigorous vocals of Alex Kristoff. 'Into the Dephts of Hell' is the opening track and the band needs lesser than two seconds to be on top of their game. It's a crunchy headbanger with a catchy chorus and once the heaviness kicks in the band doesn't lose its dynamic thrust.
Usually I'm always a little skeptical when a band uses keyboards, but here it's an enrichment to the entire vibe of their sound. 'Machine God' is the second song that brings them back to the days of Black Sabbath's 'Headless Cross' and 'Dehumanizer'. That is really a hard pounding, powerful song and even a short mellow passage doesn't weaken the energy of 'Machine God'. 'March of the Damned' follows and sounds more epic while the last song 'The Circle is Broken' is slow and brooding including a blazing guitar solo, provided by some fantastic heavy riffs. If you love Black Sabbath with Dio, Judas Priest or Mercyful Fate than SINISTER REALM should be on your list. Meanwhile the band has signed a deal with Shadow Kingdom Records, and I reckon that the first album will be worth buying. Watch out for it!