Evil and Divine

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Frontiers Records, 2021)

Karakter: 2/6

SUNBOMB album cover.jpgI was quite looking forward to checking Sunbomb out as I like and admire Tracii Guns' (L.A. Guns) style of playing and his way of crafting meaty riffs that go straight for the throat, but "Evil and Divine", which is the group's debut offering, is sadly a bit of a letdown and an underwhelming affair. Michael Sweet (Stryper) handles vocals throughout while the rhythm section is comprised of drummer Adam Hamilton and bassist Mitch Davis, so it is not as if the outfit is short of musical talent.

With its roots firmly planted in old-school heavy metal and inspired by the likes of Judas Priest, Trouble, and Black Sabbath just to list a few examples, the eleven-track album is relatively straightforward and offers very few surprises along the way. The opening track "Life" explodes right out of the gate and is undoubtedly the highlight of the disc with its sharp, powerful riffs and incredibly solid drive - a pretty damn massive-sounding composition for sure. "Take Me Away" is a doom-laden piece that recalls Black Sabbath around the time of "Master of Reality", which is obviously a huge compliment, and the tune is certainly enjoyable too. "Better End" is where things start to lose momentum and turn either mediocre or completely uninteresting. It is as if things are not entirely gelling, and there is very little warmth, vibrancy, or atmosphere to the song material. Sweet's vocals often appear incompatible with Guns' guitars, which is frustrating as the latter does churn out some thunderous, face-melting riffs here and there, but overall, the LP simply does not feel like an organic, heartfelt opus and it lacks dynamics and color.

I was hoping for something a little more inspired and inspiring than this, and in the overall perspective, it feels lackluster and forgettable. It does have its moments and a few strong cuts (namely the aforementioned "Life" and "Take Me Away" as well as the slow, brooding "World Gone Wrong"), but it is not a sparkling, kick-ass effort and it could have been so much more than it is. One is left with the impression of listening to a missed opportunity.

Sunbomb -  Facebook

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