September 4, 2019 Liv Sin – Burning Sermons (Album Review)
Hailing from Sweden, Liv Jagrell has a leading voice in the Rock/Metal world for fifteen years now. Originally the leading lady of Sister Sin, following the band’s split in 2015, she would rise again with her new band Liv Sin. Making a strong debut in 2017 with the album Follow Me, on Friday, September 6th, Liv Sin return with the new album Burning Sermons through Despotz Records.
Together with Guitarists Patrick Ankermark and Chris Bertzell, Bassist Tomie Winther, and Drummer Per Bjevoluk, Burning Sermons more than overcomes the dreaded sophomore slump many bands fall victim to. In fact, it is an intense, blazing album of ten tracks and non-stop spirit. This is proven from the start with “Blood Moon Fever” which bursts through the veil with an uplifting, full sound as it welcomes the listener into the world of Burning Sermons. The rhythmic sections of guitar are far darker with an industrial-sounding synth to accompany, in comparison the melodic aspects of the track is brighter and uplifting. Jagrell’s gravelly vocals cut through the entire track with spontaneity and an unstoppable fury.
Moving forward, a whimsical symphony opens “Hope Begins To Fade” which features the imposing vocals of Soilwork’s Björn “Speed” Strid in a wicked triumph beside Jagrell. The resplendent track can easily be surmised by its soothsaying lyrics of, “there’s nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.” This is while “War Antidote” hits aggressively with fast-paced guitar work and bellowing vocals that work towards an undeniably firey song. Then guitars shriek and interlace into a magnificent symposium throughout “At The Gates Of The Abyss”while utilizing an enlivening acoustic reprieve that allows just a moment of rest before it ascends into a hammering return.
Beginning with a more mild, crackling guitar before crisp drums roll in, “Slave To The Machine” plays with abrupt pauses and a slightly lighter vocal performance from Jagrell. That said, she loses none of her edge with lines like “don’t think you’re in control, cause they own your life, they own your soul.“ On the end of the spectrum of sound, “The Sinner” plays with darker, more macabre synth patterns; something that is heavily in line with the overall theme of the more caliginous within. This is as the album closes with “Dead Winter Intermezzo” which begins in a grittier place than its title might suggest with guitars that are unyielding and bombastic drums coupled with a leniently symphonic chorus chorus.
While most of the tracks on Burning Sermons follow a similar structure they are undoubtedly a fiery taste of Rock-n-Roll. Liv Sin comprehends the mechanisms of its sound with impeccable execution that can overpower the vivid and imaginative introductions and synthwork in each song. For example, “Death Gives Life Meaning” strays most from the path in its introduction and is gifted with reasonable breathing room to show it off, however, most of its counterparts are far briefer in their experimental moments and prefer to jump straight in.
It could be argued that Burning Sermons is a strong left turn from previous work from Liv Sin, but that is alright and why Cryptic Rock gives the new album 4 out of 5 stars.