Sons of Sin sound like a slightly younger, more earnest version of a biker gang. It is as if their dads were all in a gang together and they tried to emulate them. The insignia and wraparound text of their logo looks like it has come straight off the back of a leather jacket.
But Sons of Sin are not a biker gang – they’re a metal band from Belfast. At least from the scant information available about the band, that would seem to be the case. There are five members, but only their first names have been made public, so that that is how they will have to be addressed here.
Sons of Sin pick selectively from the metal variety box here on their EP ‘Rebelations’. We have (sometimes) high-pitched vocals, epic screeching guitar solos, growling call and repeats, choruses of shouts (e.g. “Rise!” on the opening title track), guitar harmonics and harmonies. Yep, the toolkit has been fully utilised – even that weird socket wrench thingy you always wondered about.
Sure it’s derivative, but what metal isn’t somewhat derivative these days? Hell, what music isn’t somewhat derivative these days? Tying it all together are the vocals of ‘Grant’. This guy can sing – of that there is no question. The question is whether he should be singing in a metal band. In fact, so soothing are his vocals at some points that they almost make you forget that you are listening to metal at all, particularly on The Dream, which is full of distracting “woah-oh’s” and “yeah-ah’s”.
Equally, the rest of the band – guitarists Duke and Shadow in particular – can shred with the best. Again, sometimes it feels like they are trying to squeeze in the full box of tricks, regardless of whether it fits, but listening to the, frankly, brilliant guitar solo at the end of Take It All makes you forgive that entirely.
What we have here are five metal fans in a metal band. Nothing new there: that tends to be the case. It would be great to see more invention though. There are flourishes of brilliance scattered here and there, but these are swallowed by clouds of mediocrity. Take for example the opening 45 seconds of Rebelations, which sound like every metal song ever.
The lyrics also leave something to be desired. Too often they seem to be fairly random phrases thrown together because they sound good. But even when there’s a theme they sound corny: “You know this time around when your back’s against the wall / you can own the night / stand and fight / when you hear the rebel call”.
They even have a song called Whore of Babylon. You can probably guess what that’s about. Perhaps the worst offender is The Dream, which, taking its cue from Nickleback’s Rockstar: “There’s no such thing as too much booze / My life is all excess / I roll the dice there’s no way I’ll lose / No I won’t settle for less / The song remains the same my friend / I’ll rock until I’m through”. Although obviously intended as satire, it’s delivered so earnestly it makes you wonder.
“Living the life of a rockstar baby / whiskey and limousines”, wails Grant. They won’t have to worry about that for a long time judging by this outing.