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Tracklist: 1. Song For a Day 8:22 (Blaauw, Van der Vlis) 2. Thin Ice 5:50 (=) 3. Lost For Words 6:16 (Blaauw, Van Leerdam) 4. Trust (inst.) 5:14 (Van der Vlis, Van Leerdam) 5. Two In One 8:23 (SINISTER STREET) 6. Midas Touch 4:38 (Blaauw, Van Leerdam) 7. Go the Distance 4:20 (Blaauw, Van der Vlis) 8. Turning Tide 5:39 (=) 9. Through the Looking Glass 7:54 (SINISTER STREET) Arranged & produced by Sinister Street. Engineered by Mark Brevoort & Sinister Street at "Tripod" studios. Line-up: Olaf Blaauw - lead vocals Erik Van der Vlis - keyboards; backing vocals Peter Van Leerdam - keyboards; backing vocals Omar* - guitars Frits* - drums Roger Lingerhoels - basses (*It is impossible to read their families in the CD booklet!)
Prologue. Although Sinister Street exists already for fifteen years, they released only two albums until now. The band's debut album, "The Eve of Innocence", was released precisely ten years ago, in 1992. Huh!
The Album. Was it really worth it to be in oblivion (OK, in limbo) for the whole decade to release such a boring and completely uninspired album as "Truth"? Not at all - concerning Sinister Street: the truth is still out there. Implying their own creation, these guys should have either titled this album as "Sinister Truth" or rename the band so then the album should've been titled as "Empty Streets", i.e. empty tracks). All the songs that are present on the band's second album were created within the framework of a unified stylistics, which is a poor Neo Progressive that, in itself, is not pure, but consists of the mixed structures of Neo Art-Rock and Neo Prog-Metal. All of the songs here are almost completely based on the vocals that, in their turn, consist most often of the oft-recurring verses and refrains of a dramatic and optimistic character respectively. They feature from one to two instrumental parts, all of which are very simple and quite monotonous. In that way, what do you expect to hear from me about those instrumental arrangements that support the vocal parts? And right you are! Rhythms 'n' riffs can hardly be regarded as real arrangements. Especially boring are the first three songs on the album, any of which sounds like a heavier and simplified version of Jadis. The only instrumental on the album, Truth, (4) is, at the same time, the only good (merely good) and more or less original track here. However, I have to admit that all the songs that follow the said instrumental piece are slightly more diverse than previous ones. Each of these songs (tracks 5 to 9) reminds me of a heavier and simplified version of Marillion both instrumentally and vocally. Even the titles of the songs on this album, such as Thin Ice and Through the Looking Glass, turn my memory to immediately recall the name of Clive Nolan, the real leader of the 'official' Marillion imitators, Arena. Although Olaf Braauw's voice is rather low (and rather original, by the way), his way of singing is most often in the vein of Fish. Through the Looking Glass is the most diverse (i.e. the best) among the songs on the album. However, the lack of originality raised to the power of wannabe-ism, doesn't allow me to consider it a good song, as it was in the case with the album's title track, for instance.
Summary. I've just remembered Quidam's latest CD, "The Time Beneath the Sky", which I rated with only three stars. I feel I was not right then, as it was quite a good Neo album, at least. So I must add one star to its rating. While Sinister Street's "Truth" is an absolute mediocrity. Finally, I'd like to mention that my rating scale is currently looking a bit differently: no more "satisfactory" albums! Here it is.
- Six stars - masterpiece: ****** - Five stars - excellent album: ***** - Four stars - good album: **** - Three stars - mediocrity: *** - Two stars - weak album: ** - One star - poor album: *
VM. September 23, 2002
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