Sister - Stand Up, Forward, March! album review

Stockholm’s sleaze rockers hone their hard edge

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For the past 10 years, Swedish sleaze-cum-punk merchants Sister have amassed a rabid fanbase, along with a reputation for high-octane shows seething with raw energy and passion. 2010’s ear-splitting Disguised Vultures epitomised that unapologetic punk ethos with the riff-heavy My Enemy and glam genre-blending single Sick.

Album number three still captures the quartet’s signature style, but it’s also quick to reveal a grander, more ambitious sound. Brooding opener Destination Dust, with its ominous, cinematic intro, unfurls into blazing riffage and anthemic choruses while lead single Carved _I_n Stone sounds like the bastard lovechild of Guns N’ Roses and Misfits. Lost In Line will surely appeal to 80s obsessives with its melodic noodlings and ‘whoah-oh-oh’-type singalongs, but one of the biggest surprises comes in the form of mournful curveball Let It Bleed, which is a gloriously dark and dirgey amalgamation of Sabbath and Fade to Black-era Metallica. Stand Up, Forward, March! may not be breaking any boundaries this time around, but it does a fine job of encapsulating hard rock at its grimiest.