Tuesday 16 May 2017

Album Review: LIV SIN - Follow Me

Liv Sin - Follow Me

01. The Fall
02. Hypocrite
03. Let Me Out
04. Black Souls
05. Godless Utopia
06. Endless Roads
07. Killing Ourselves To Live (Feat. Schmier [Destruction])
08. I'm Your Sin
09. Emperor of Chaos
10. Immortal Sin (Fight cover feat. Jyrki 69 [The 69 Eyes])
11. The Beast Inside

For those unfamiliar with Liv Sin, AKA Liv Jagrell, she was the lead singer of the amazing Swedish Heavy Metal band Sister Sin. That band has sadly since folded, and this is her first album as a solo artist.

I first heard Liv's awesome vocal style on the Sister Sin album, True Sound Of The Underground. That album was a fantastic traditional Heavy Metal album, full of roof raising anthems, and with a crisp modern production making it an absolutely essential release. It also boasted a cover version of U.D.O's 24/7, which is one of the best covers I've ever heard. I loved the album so much, I bought the back catalogue and every subsequent release until the end. So naturally, I had very high hopes for Liv's solo album.

The immediate thing I heard from the opening track The Fall is that musically, what she's doing now appears to be heavily influenced by old school Thrash Metal, as opposed to the straight forward Metal associated with Sister Sin. It's certainly more 'Kreator' than 'Accept'. This new musical approach is present on most of the album, with the occasional exception such as the first single Let Me Out, which has the more traditional Metal sound associated with her previous band. In other words, Liv's solo outing shows her going in a much heavier direction.

Black Souls is one of the stronger songs with its Death Metal guitar licks mixed with slamming old school riffs and melodic solos. Endless Roads is a heavy power ballad and features some tasty riffs midway through the song that have a welcome Pantera feel. I'm Your Sin has a Stoner Metal style that reminds me of Down, Corrosion of Conformity and countless other bands that worship at the temple of Black Sabbath, but I don't think I'm Your Sin has a particularly exciting or interesting chorus to make it stand out from the sea of other bands.

I think my favourite song is the last track The Beast Inside, which starts off as a ballad reminiscent of Judas Priest's Before The Dawn, before building into a powerful Heavy Metal onslaught that suits Liv perfectly. Now this is what I wanted! It's a truly excellent track and ends the album on an epic note.

There's a pretty good cover of Fight's Immortal Sin on here too, which features some additional vocals from The 69 Eyes' Jyrki 69. It's an odd choice of song, as I don't consider it to be one of the stronger songs on the debut Fight album, and there are a few others I would have thought would suit Liv more such as Into The Pit or Nailed To The Gun. For those of you unfamiliar with Fight, it was the band formed by Rob Halford after he left Judas Priest.

There are many similarities between the first Fight album War of Words and Liv's solo album, aside from effectively being solo projects from lead singers. Both releases are a bit more contemporary than what went before, as well as heavier, more thrash based and are clearly both hugely important milestones in each singers career. Unfortunately, neither album outshone the previous bands. The Fight album was good but it was not in the same league as Painkiller (Rob's final album with Judas Priest before the reunion), and it's the same story with Liv's record. 

Follow Me is a good album, but if I said I enjoyed it as much as the last few Sister Sin releases, I'd be lying to you. The songs aren't as melodic or as catchy, and sadly I think the rest of the Sister Sin writing team are sorely missed here. Having said that, Liv is still an amazing vocalist, one of the best in Metal, and with the right material, she'd be unstoppable. 


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