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Cross the Styx is the 1992 debut album by Dutch death metal band Sinister, Holland isn't really a country that comes to mind when you think of metal but with Legion of the Damned and these guys, they definitely have something to offer fans of extreme metal.
The introduction to this album is really quite unnerving, as you hear weeping and the dragging of chains, the first time I listened to it, I was walking the dog in the dark and I can assure you it's not ideal listening for a good night's sleep!
Mike Van Mastrigt's vocals can be described as nothing else but angry, the man sounds like a volcano ready to spew lava over the other band members! For just four guys, they manage to make an awful lot of noise - in fact many tracks have a wall of sound created by particularly powerful blast beat drumming and alternating bass line and guitar riffs. Perpetual Damnation differs with a more elementary sound but Sinister don't do moments of silence, it's full on in your face power.
Lyrically the band draw up images of the underworld, borrowing ideas rooted in books by Lovecraft, it's dark and brutal and so much better than a lot of modern day "technical death metal" bands.
The album's production is raw and the band sound very..sinister! Naturally this album won't appeal to great swathes of the world population but it certainly warrants further inspection by headbangers as the band have remained relatively unknown.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Carnificina Scelesta
2 Perennial Mourning
3 Sacramental Carnage
5 Spiritual Immolation
6 Cross the Styx
7 Compulsory Resignation
8 Corridors To the Abyss
9 Putrefying Remains
10 Epoch of Denial
11 Perpetual Damnation
13 Barbaric Order [Live]
14 Enslaved the Weak Intro [Live]
15 Enslaved the Weak [Live]