By Dr. Abner Mality

Groove-death, anyone? Or maybe nu-death? Italy’s Sinphobia work hard to seem like a straight up death metal band, but any veteran of Incantation, Nile or Cannibal Corpse will get a laugh out of that description after hearing “Awaken”. If a mix of modern Sepultura, Six Feet Under and the groovier Lamb of God can be considered death metal, well, then, this is death metal.

Actually it doesn’t start out too bad at all. First proper song “Prayer to Warcry” is real crunchy and the drumming has bite. The growls fit the catchy bouncing groove. It’s not Cannibal-style death metal, but it’s damn heavy. But by the time “Thread of Salvation” rolls in, Sinphobia starts to lose its charm. The songs go on for too long, the riffs are too plain and the sound is obviously aimed towards “modern metal” fans. The rest of the album follows that pattern and becomes kind of a dull mass. An odd exception is “Respect”, which is the most obvious nu-metal tune of the bunch, but one that somehow is so infectious that you like it despite yourself.

An attempt is also made to connect Sinphobia to European thrash metal, which I can hear even less of. They just can’t hold my interest despite a couple of cool tunes. So long, Sinphobia…