Sinsaenum – Echoes of the Tortured (earMUSIC)

Genre: Death Metal

With Joey Jordison behind the kit and Mayhem’s Attila Csihar manning one of the mic stands, Sinsaenum were always going to get their fair share of attention. Yet this new band – also featuring members of DragonForce, Daath, Loudblast and Seth, are far more than just a headline-grabbing novelty project. They sound like they’ve been making death metal together for years –  and with ‘Force bassist Frédéric Leclercq driving the songwriting, Sinsaenun have unleashed one of 2016’s finest extreme metal albums.

As the crushing groove and warped riffs of Splendor and Agony take hold, you can smell the sweat of Tampa circa 1991 – and in particular Morbid Angel – whose influence looms large over Echoes of the Tortured. There are hints of Immolation here and there too, but this is a thoroughly contemporary slab of darkness, make no mistake, and no mere tribute to the old masters. Songs like Sacrifice and Final Curse ooze with malevolence, their potent mix of venomous riffs, twisted solos and Jordison’s powerhouse drumming making you feel like death metal is still relevant, still capable of making your jaw drop. It will be hard to find a better DM tune than the incredible Condemned to Suffer this year, that’s for sure – infectious, tumultuous rhythms, sublime leads, melody clashing with utter brutality… you get the picture.

Echoes of the Tortured is a gripping piece of work and every tentacle of Sinsaenum wraps itself around your throat and squeezes tight, from Stéphane Buriez’s imperious axework to Csihar’s demonic vocal eruptions.

Let’s hope it’s not just a one-off…

RUSHONROCK RATED: 8.5/10 Torture Chamber