Mindless Sinner – Poltergeist (Pure Steel Records)Friday, 3rd January 2020
Achieving cult-status in the mid to late 1980’s through three EP/full-length releases, Sweden’s Mindless Sinner returned in 2015 to the prestigious Keep It True Festival in Germany, recording a new album with A New Messiah and working hard ever since to establish more of a presence in today’s scene. Rare is the day that a quintet who first split in 1987 are still together in that same incarnation 33 years later – but that is the case here, making Poltergeist an exciting release to consume because it still proves these musicians have the fire and passion to unleash heavy metal with energy, exhilaration, and force on all fronts.
Many of the riff choices, musical hooks and addictive choruses possess that Teutonic meets British charm – the lead breaks cohesive and engaging to the specific songs on display, as it’s hard not to want to headbang or air guitar to the work of a Priest-like mid-tempo anthem such as “Heavy Metal Mayhem”. Magnus Danneblad and Jerker Edman as guitarists weave tapestry in their tandem rhythms or harmony accents- be it through slower, semi-classical means for “Valkyrie” or just pounding chord constructs with extra melodic spice during “Hammer of Thor”. When the rhythm section wants to get a bit more groovy in Sabbath swinging strains for “World of Madness”, it opens up the range and multi-octave note holding abilities of Christer Göransson, the cultural strains throughout the song very much in the vein of what current Grand Magus delivers. The production and tones convey that analog, old-school philosophy as well – the artwork aligning with a similar outlook so that anyone not familiar with Mindless Sinner will not be surprised about the bands traditional, 80’s-oriented metal sound.
Poltergeist has that quality energy and catchy songwriting that put Accept on the map and brought Judas Priest to arena headliners. Treasure the older acts who can still deliver the goods on their latest studio records – as it keeps the genre alive and brings the newer fans up to speed with the vibrant musical climate we should never take for granted.