Blackened thrash, a term to these ears that goes together like bacon cheese burger or Imperial Stout (or PB and J for the kiddies). Such is the musical stylings donned by Sweden’s Siniestro, who have arrived in time for the holiday season to bring you their new EP Arctic Blood. The question is will Siniestro’s brand of fast n’ evil up your holiday jeer? Kind of yes and kind of…well, read on.
Arctic Blood kicks off with the track of the same name. It gets off rollicking enough with its disharmonic riffing and hellish shriek/growl/grunt vocals of the ever mysterious front man known simply as Commander. The song breaks into a nice old school Dave Lombardo groove and kind of ends right around the two-minute mark. It’s a solid two minutes to be clear, but I was expecting the song to carry on a bit longer.
This flows into the next neck breaker “Pesten.” This one has a much more upfront and pronounced early Machine Head vibe and right as it picks up steam around the one minute mark, well, the song ends. We are then led to somber acoustic playing that opens the third track “Exitium Vivorum Omnew” which folds in a nice mid paced Hail of Bullets type grind then throws in some great melodic Dark Funeral-esque riffing toward the end for good measure.
The EP concludes with the best, and longest track, “Strength and Pride.” Mid way through, Siniestro kick into a fantastic blackened heavy metal solo that takes the song upward and ends like a warrior looking triumphantly over a hard day’s battle won.
So, onto the brass tacks of the matter: Arctic Blood is an EP and I understand that. However, it’s a very short EP clocking in at a measly 12 minutes total, which is fine but it feels like one more song would have really sealed the deal as one of the three featured here is, speaking of measly, only a minute.
I guess brevity is the order of the day for Siniestro and in the end, they win out for it as Arctic Blood does what it aims to do, which is leave you wanting more. While not wholly mind altering or brand new, Siniestro do a very capable job of delivering a short and sweet beating that doesn’t over stay its welcome. Happy fucking holidays.
– J. Coleman