Sinsaenum - Ashes EP album review

Joey Jordison’s star-studded crew get back in the saddle

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When Sinsaenum released their debut album, Echoes Of The Tortured, last year it was one of the rare occasions when the results of a band dubbed a ‘supergroup’ were actually positively lauded for their music, rather than just the sum of their parts. Listening to Ashes it’s apparent that much of their success lies in harnessing the individual sum of their parts and showcasing them within an extreme metal framework, so, obviously, Joey Jordison’s instantly recognisable OCD kit attack perfectly fits that approach, as does Attila Csihar’s croaking, screeching vocal tics. But the man who gives Sinsaenum that little something extra is Dragonforce guitarist Frédéric Leclercq. He can pen as mean a death metal riff as anyone, as evidenced on the brutal Kings Of The Desperate Lands, but drops in pockets of the kind of bombastic flair that makes his main band such a dizzy pleasure. When everyone involved is locked in together, like on the frankly mental 2099 (Heretics), Sinsaenum truly are an exciting proposition. If they could maintain this level of consistency throughout this would be a world-class release. Unfortunately, they don’t gel in so coherently all the way through. Luckily the fact that this is a six-track EP stops Ashes from outstaying its welcome, and when it does end it ends on a remastered version of Dead Souls from Echoes Of The Tortured, which sounds rawer, sharper and more brutal than it did previously. Take that form into the studio for the second full-length and we could have a classic on our hands.