Sinnery – Black Bile Review

“Forged by the love for metal and hatred for anything else, “states the band’s promo materials so, you know plenty of attitude accompanies the contents within. Sinnery is an Israeli four-piece that serves up a creamy hummus of influences with the prevailing flavor of a crispy blackened thrash. Olde skool vibes meet olde world angst in this sophomore release that finds the band looking at their inspiration’s inspirations. Expect plenty ultraviolence and burning palaces. After paying their dues in their motherland and releasing a promising debut, are these eager young lads ready to bring their nuclear assault to the rest of the world? Let he who is with the Sinnery promo cast the first stone.

Sinnery are talented guys, and they’ve done their homework. On Black Bile they’ve expanded their sound beyond Early Death Angel-inspired thrash to include a laundry list of influences. I get a lot of Pantera, especially in the vocals and breakdowns. There’s also plenty of angsty 2010’s thrash, some Nu metal, some trad and even a little djent. The net result feels a bit like a mess where the parts are stronger than the sum. The title track is a perfect example of multiple influences at play. It starts with classic thrash riffing that sets the groove. The song picks up tempo and aggression into the bridge with a more modern attack that segues into a mostly forgettable chorus. The song ends with an absolute monster breakdown that’s reminiscent of Pantera’s “Domination.” While parts of it work, it feels a bit more Frankenstein than monster.

Black Bile shows what a foundation of intensive touring can do for a young band. Sinnery blast out of the speakers like a furious but well-oiled machine. The complexity and diversity of songs on Black Bile are well beyond their first album, A Feast of Fools. Unfortunately, it lacks the coherence and charm of that previous LP. Drummer Matan Mandelbaum is an absolute beast here and lays down a relentless onslaught of blistering beats and fierce fills. While his work is certainly impressive, it feels one step away from total chaos. This gives the songs an unhinged quality that some may appreciate but left me feeling like the songs weren’t yet polished. Guitarists Alon Karnieli and Idan Kringel bring relentless riffs and shred to the proceedings but not all of it is primo. The duo changes licks so often it leaves your head spinning. The odd time signatures and constant variations show great musicianship but lack song-smithing. Bassist Saar Tuvi lays down the type of classic Frank Bello, Greg Christian bass vibe I love but gets drowned out too often.

It took me a while to figure out why I got bored with an album that slaps so hard. As an olde timer who cut his teeth at countless Testament and Overkill shows, I embrace the loving tribute Sinnery tries to lay down here. They know how to start a song, they know how to drop a massive breakdown, they can whip up a pit, but the songs don’t fully deliver. The good parts are really good, but the remaining filler drags the proceedings down. Sinnery’s first record, A Feast of Fools, was a stripped-down banger that didn’t lose its groove or its momentum. By contrast, Black Bile tries to channel too many influences and I think the biggest casualty is melody. There’s not a lot to grab on to or a lot that sticks with you afterward. Vocalist Alon Karnieli does his best Phil Anselmo but forgets that Phil sang too. I wish that the band stepped back and focused on how the songs flowed as well as the overall structure of the album.

I want to love this record but I can’t get into it. All the ingredients are there but the seasoning is off. I wouldn’t hesitate to catch Sinnery live. I imagine their energy and non-stop riffage translate better in a club than my living room. The band is young and shows great potential. I look forward to seeing what they will do next as they grow their chops and define their sound. If you’re looking for a modern spin on in-your-face thrashy metal, Sinnery may have the bile to rile.

Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 4 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Exitus Stratagem Records
Releases Worldwide: September 16th, 2022

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