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SINNER Santa Muerte

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Saturday, September 14, 2019 @ 8:13 AM


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SINNER
Santa Muerte

2019 AFM Records




Mat Sinner is a workaholic. In addition to his work with PRIMAL FEAR, his touring band ROCK MEETS CLASSIC, and various other projects and guest appearances, Mat has kept his solo hard rock band SINNER going since 1982. Santa Muerte is the band’s 19th studio album! Joining Mat again are guitarists Tom Naumann and Alex Scholpp, as well as new drummer Markus Kullman (HARTMANN).

Italian singer Giorgia Colleluori, who previously worked with Mat Sinner in ROCK MEETS CLASSIC, adds a new sound to the band with her backing vocals. On several songs, she sings the lead vocals, like on the first track “Shine On”. This is a pretty feisty opener. “Fiesta Y Copas” (“Party and Drinks”), featuring Chilean singer Ronnie Romero (LORDS OF BLACK) on backing vocals, is a really fun song, as intended. It‘s upbeat and is basically a sing-along drinking song. Guitarist Tom Naumann adds a cool solo as well. You can view the video on KNAC.COM HERE.

Title track “Santa Muerte” (“Holy Death”) is an infectious song, commercial in structure and delivery, yet featuring hard driving and riff-filled music. Tom’s guitar really shines here. “Last Exit Hell” is a good song, and more hard rocking than most of the songs on the album. Mat sings the verses and Giorgia sings the bridge, and they unite on the chorus. “What Went Wrong” and “Craving” are two of my favorite songs on Santa Muerte, both referencing THIN LIZZY, and delivering heartfelt emotion. “Lucky 13” cruises along at a manic pace, and finds Giorgia taking over lead vocals again. Cool track, but I couldn’t help but wonder what it would sound like with Mat on lead vocals.

"Death Letter” is an abridged cover of blues legend SON HOUSE’s 1965 song “Death Letter Blues”. While Giorgia’s delivery is quite spirited (she absolutely floors here), for my money her best work is on the song “The Wolf”, possibly the most complete track on this album. Her highs and lows, as well as her dueting with Mat, is simply fantastic. On ballad “Misty Mountain”, Giorgia again shows her range and vocal dexterity. On “The Ballad of Jack” (which is actually not a ballad), she shows great ability to be a team player with Mat in a hard rocking symphonic duet. Closer “Stormy Night” is a bit of a folksy rocker, featuring Mat and Giorgia once again trading lines over THIN LIZZY-inspired guitar chords. There are a total of 12 songs, at about 50 minutes total time.

In case the album name or cover didn’t give it away, the band is still focused on the Mexican celebration of life and death, or Dia de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”) and its themes. This started with the last album, Tequila Suicide, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Crossing these cultural borders is smart, because it opens up the band to the Spanish-speaking market. To be honest, Santa Muerte is a bit of a curve ball. Fans may dig it, they may not. It took me a few listens to get into it, but in the end the quality songwriting and performances won me over. Santa Muerte is available now from AFM Records.

4.0 Out Of 5.0


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