By Dr. Abner Mality

The name SANHEDRIN has been bouncing around the metallisphere for a few years now, but this is my first encounter with them. Best way to describe this power trio from Brooklyn is that they play a very melodic form of traditional metal that is harder to define than the usual PRIEST or MAIDEN type band. There's some of that here, but it's not real obvious and it manifests in a way that seems more modern.

The songs have punch and oomph but nothing here "rages" with the exception of "Scythian Women", where a strong MAIDEN-type gallop is easily detectable. The band has a female vocalist, but again, one different than the usual operatic diva type. Erica Stoltz has a smokier, sometimes almost bluesy tone and excellent diction. Perhaps the band SANHEDRIN reminds me of the most is QUEENSRYCHE in their "Mindcrime/Empire" period. "Correction" and "Change Takes Forever" have some of the biting social comment of classic RYCHE and the ringing, medium paced riffs are not far off of that. But SANHEDRIN has definitely got its own sound, which is a rarity these days.

I don't think ending the album with two balladic songs, "Hero's End" and "Death Is A Door" was a great decision because the album needed something a little more robust to end on. But if you're looking for classic metal that doesn't sound like a thousand PRIEST or MAIDEN clones, SANHEDRIN is a band to keep in mind.