Sinbreed have recently become the talk of the metal world, stepping out of relative anonymity. For better or worse, it is not because of their debut album When World Collide moving any boundaries, but rather because of their addition of Blind Guardian’s Marcus Siepen to their lineup. Now, together with his Blind Guardian colleague, Frederik Ehmke, and a bunch of talented musicians, Sinbreed set out to take metal world by storm with their sophomorerelease,  Shadows.

Despite what the lineup might make you think, Sinbreed is far from Blind Guardian. Their music is darker and heavier, oriented more towards thrash than power or progressive metal. Although the emphasis is on raw heaviness, there are a lot of melodic moments scattered throughout the record, like typical Helloween-style harmonic solos or catchy vocal melodies. There are a lot of influences noticeable on the album, and bands like Grave DiggerSteel Attack and (late) Accept  come to mindSinbreed clearly took a few hints from the Teutonic book of heavy metal and packed them into a solid product that still bears the band’s seal. However, the tracks are very predictable and bring nothing to the table, failing to set Sinbreed apart from the ever-growing competition. The album as a whole is enjoyable but not memorable and it takes a couple of spins before some of the catchier tracks finally stick to you.

At the core of Shadows is the furious and heavy guitar work. Marcus Siepen, a renowned rhythm guitarist, enriched the band with his unique style; together with guitarist and founding member Flo Laurin they form a formidable duo, delivering torrents of powerful riffs with elements of NWOBHM, power and thrash metal. Together they deliver outstanding performances, producing some memorable Tipton/Downing moments. The rhythm section is comprised of Frederik Ehmke and Alex Shulz, who lay a fast and heavy foundation for the rest of the band to follow. Frederik once again demonstrates amazing level of skill, and his drumming is one of the highlights of the album, featuring equal amounts of speed and technicality.

Herbie Langhans vocal delivery is something you either love or hate. Although he’s reminiscent of Mark Tornillo (Accept), opting for the rough and edgy side of heavy metal singing, he shows shows some of versatility by delivering some clean lines here and there.

Time will tell whether the latest addition to Sinbreed proves to be a good or a bad thing. While, there is the tremendous experience the members of a legendary metal act brought in with them, bringing them along also raises the bar for Sinbreed, who, after all, are a band with only one album. Although with Shadows they prove that they have a lot to offer, they are still missing that special something that would make them stand out in the vast sea of Teutonic metal acts.

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