Gothenburg, Sweden’s Sister Sin seem to improve with every album. “Now and Forever” is the band’s fourth effort: The follow-up to “True Sound of the Underground” (2010), and continues the path they carved out with that album, while improving in the process. Vocalist Liv Jagrell (ex-Hysterica) is a petite vocal dynamo who stands as powerful as any of her peers, male or female. Perhaps that is why the soft-spoken Doro Pesch has embraced Jagrell and the band and opted to drag them to America for her new U.S. tour this winter.
The Sister Sin signature is a mix of old school punk-tinged traditional 80′s metal and it stays true to that style without getting bogged down in retreading the past . After one sits through the 60 second throwaway intro, guitarist Jimmy Hitula propels us to the “End of the Line”. The album’s first single– which moves like a sonic anthemic juggernaut driven by the rhythm section of bassist Strandh and drummer Dave Sunberg. Lots of chanting, fist-pumping mayhem here. Not that Jagrell was ever lacking in the confidence department, but somehow she sounds ballsier and more impressive than ever.
For those who cannot get past it, Jagrell wastes no time letting one know they can kiss her ass, on the “Fight Song”. Don’t let her stature fool you, she’s as bad ass as they come and her vocals never back down. Hitula’s riffs channel Accept’s Wolf Hoffmann, and Jagrell is aggressive and in your face. Another catchy chorus: “This is the fight song, pray that God forgives, I don’t!”
The album keeps chugging along on “In It For Life” which features another arena worthy wall of chanting chorus. The pace slows ever so slightly on “Hearts of Cold” but the drop off in intensity is barely noticeable as there is still no time to catch a breath. And so it goes for 10 solid tracks: Sister Sin pummel and crash through a set of raucous, headbanging songs, while Liv caresses with a voice like a jaw-dislocating backhand.
Then like the afterglow amidst bodies satiated and gasping for breath, the album closes out with a sonic kiss goodbye in the form of the aptly titled, “Morning After”. Liv reminds us through spiraling vocals that although we had these moments, it is time to move on. But fear not, one can always hit replay and start it all again. You are ready to go again, right?
“Now and Forever” accomplishes what all band’s hope to achieve with each album: Continue to grow, and if not create a better record than its last, at least create something equally impressive. Sister Sin have done both with this record. There is nothing new or groundbreaking here, “Now and Forever” is simply a fine example of melodic headbanging metal anthems marked by a thundering and propulsive rhythm section and combined with crisp and catchy guitar riffs, all glued together by a dynamic, powerhouse vocalist.
Music is the universal language, speak it loudly!
Rustyn Rose is a veteran music journalist who owns and operates Metalholic Magazine and Metalholic Radio.