Sinister - "Diabolical Summoning"
21 years have passed since the formation of Sinister, one of Holland's most persistent death metal acts.
Though most of their albums are good, the band has sadly never achieved the level of recognition that many of their peers rose to. It's a shame, because their first few albums are better than the overrated early 90s output of a Deicide, Hypocrisy or Cannibal Corpse. I can't claim that any of the 8 Sinister albums is a masterpiece, but "Diabolical Summoning" was certainly a Dutch gem which stands alongside Pestilence, Creepmine and Gorefest as a strong offering to the genre.
For the period, Sinister were quite a tight, prolific, unrelenting band. "Diabolical Summoning" pops with controlled aggression, whether it's the sick-fuck drumming of Aad Kloosterwaard, the unending guitar-axe brutality, or the gruff barking of Mike van Mastrigt. The band was every bit as moshpit friendly as their American counterparts, with alternate bursts of speed and breakdowns, very much comparable to an early Suffocation or Cannibal Corpse, and on this album, better.
Tracks like "Magnified Wrath" and "Sense of Demise" groove with abandon, hellish drum battering and bludgeoning guitar tones that sound heavy as fuck even by the standards of the 21st century. The album grows a little more interesting during its latter half, with the punishing "Leviathan", the riffy, grinding "Desecrated Flesh" and the mystical destruction of "Tribes of the Moon."
In closing, Diabolical Summoning is sick. Sick enough for any fan of brutal death metal. You should own it and relish its insanity. The riffs are consistently entertaining, the leads sear and the drumming should hold the attention of the A.D.D. brutes who demand it.
I would say this still ranks as my favorite Sinister album.