Sinister Realm – The Crystal Eye

Poking around in the new releases on iTunes this morning I noticed that Sinister Realm just released a new album, “The Crystal Eye”. I liked their first album, so I didn’t hesitate to download this one to my phone. It was a nice surprise for me as I hadn’t seen it on the list of upcoming releases.

Sinister Realm, from Allentown, PA, which is a mere three hours north of where I’m sitting, plays a traditional style of metal with elements of doom. This is their second album for Shadow Kingdom Records, a label that I think I will be paying more attention to in the future. They seem to have a lot of doom bands and I would like to investigate that further. I recall the first SR record took a few listens to win me over. This one, however, is drawing me in first time. Sounds like an improvement to me, wouldn’t you say?

I have no complaints at all about the production quality of the album, the music is all clear and the vocals are very prominent. It has a warmer tone than a lot of today’s music; I wonder if it was recorded analog rather than digital. If it is digital they did a good job with the tone. So many bands today pile on layers of guitars and synth so you get this giant wall of metal, which is great at times. Metal was meant to be a huge powerful force after all. But I find it refreshing to hear albums like this one where there is just enough music to get the job done properly. It may well be layered, but it sounds like one guitar rather than a thousand. The music has room to breathe and you can pick out all the different instruments from the mix.

Sinister Realm, now with 20% more tasty riffage as recommended for a healthy metal diet. Yes, I love the guitar work on this album. One of the larger metal labels need to pick these guys up and see what they can do to promote them. I believe they deserve more attention and promotion than they are seemingly getting. I mean I didn’t even know this was being released. While I give kudos to Shadow Kingdom for finding bands like this, I’d love for many more people to hear about Sinister Realm.

You guys ever play shows down here in the D.C./Baltimore area? I’d like to go check out a show if you do.

I do have one complaint. There are only eight songs on this album, and I want more songs. They tease me with only eight.