SINISTER
"The Unborn Dead EP"

(Helldprod & Murder )

01. Ripped from the Cross (GROTESQUE cover)
02. My Agony, My Ecstasy (NOVEMBERS DOOM cover)

RATING: 7/10

Netherlands death metal squad SINISTER are back once again and ramping up a serious campaign behind their latest full-length, "The Post-Apocalyptic Servant". Spreading themselves across different labels to apparently get their thrashing onslaught delivered to as many blackened souls as possible, "The Post-Apocalyptic Servant" comes courtesy of their current home at Massacre Records. Meanwhile, Metal Mind Productions (which once sent out an encompassing SINISTER box set) is again reissuing two albums from SINISTER's back catalog on gold discs, 1998's "Aggressive Measures" and 2006's "Afterburner".

Now comes "The Unborn Dead" through Helldprod & Murder Records, a two-track covers EP that's only for SINISTER diehards who wouldn't think of letting any release slip away from their collections.

First up is a slightly rawer version of GROTESQUE's "Ripped from the Cross", largely smothered by vocalist (and former drummer) Adrie "Aad" Kloosterwaard's heavy barfing. As SINISTER's lineup has been ripped and reassembled numerous times following their temporary breakup in 2003, the sound of the band has naturally been altered. They're no less brutal, yet the favoring of Aad's gruesome belching overtop Dennis Hartog and Bastiaan Brussaard's winding shreds makes their otherwise faithful cover of "Ripped from the Cross" less of a ride and more of a mere obligation to hang with it. The tag guitar solos are a great touch, but there's nothing to SINISTER's version other than mere tribute with charbroiled vocals to accent the accolade.

Their take on NOVEMBERS DOOM's "My Agony, My Ecstasy" is pretty damned heavy with the guitars mingling alongside Mathijs Brussaard's grueling bass and Aad's bellowing, which is at least scaled back to let the guitar front take precedence. Guest vocalist Rebecca Duin weaves haunted backing sirens and takes over the track in her spots. SINISTER accurately fields "My Agony, My Ecstasy" while dirtying the thing all to hell. It's a shivery, massive homage to NOVEMBERS DOOM that should please fans of either band to pieces.

Helldprod & Murder is releasing "The Unborn Dead" in very limited quantities on black and red vinyl, so you'll want to move quickly if you're a devoted SINISTER fan.

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