REVIEW: Liv Sin – ‘Follow Me’

Posted: May 15, 2017 by Jeffrey Maki in Reviews
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Review by Jeff Maki
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Sister Sin had a fairly successful 13-year career, which saw the Swedish hard rockers sell thousands of records and play all over the world, including the 2014 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, where we interviewed vocalist Liv Sin (read here), who also stakes claim as one of Revolver’s “Hottest Chicks in Metal.” When Sister Sin unexpectedly called it quits in 2015, Liv Sin—the band—was born. And what a rebirth it is. Follow Me sees Liv transforming into full-on-metal, while channeling the classic sound from the late ’80s and early ’90s.

Unless you have an inescapable crush on Liv Sin (formerly known as Liv Jagrell), Sister Sin fans be warned—this is not the melodic hard rock of her former band. For me, this is completely unexpected. Follow Me is as much of a rebirth for Liv as it is an homage to ’80s metal bands like Helloween and Warlock, Arch Enemy of the early ’90s and even Kreator.

The melodic death of “Black Souls” is one of the best here. The evil-as-fuck riff is one to worship. The first single “Let Me Out” makes me want to belt out the lyrics of the Helloween song with the similar three-word-title, but it’s equally influenced by Angela Gossow-led Arch Enemy. It’s the anthem of Follow Me and one of the best debut metal songs I’ve heard in quite some time. “Killing Ourselves to Live” (featuring a guest appearance by Destruction frontman Schmier) has a melodic death metal riff straight out of Michael Amott’s arsenal, while “Hypocrite” sees Liv channeling her inner Halford, hitting the highs on the chorus of “Follow me/Into the Dark/Where the demons still call.” Those don’t look like Sister Sin lyrics, now do they?

Speaking of Halford, Liv covers Rob’s post-Judas Priest band Fight on the song “Immortal Sin,” dueting with her friend Jyrki, vocalist of The 69 Eyes. The results are mixed, but it still adds another dimension to the album,

Liv’s vocals, of course, will sound a little familiar to longtime fans, but she screams these out with such intensity and even a bit of swagger that it sounds like the soundtrack or theme song to an ’80s slasher flick. (Yeah, I definitely could hear one of these songs playing during the credits while a city lay under a murderous siege in the background.) Of the recording process, Liv said producer Stefan Kaufmann (Ex-Accept, ex-UDO) “brought out more intense metal in me than I ever could imagine.”

The band she’s assembled is fantastic, making this album all the more spirited. The lineup backing Liv is guitarists Patrick Ankermark and Chris Bertzell, bassist Tommie Winther and drummer Per Bjelovuk.

Never would anyone have expected that one of the most metal albums of 2017 would come from Liv Sin, but it has. Follow Me captures the spirit of classic metal that us older guys grew up with, and gives it a modern sound and razor’s edge. This is one to play at your Halloween party. This is one to scream into the night with. This is one to sell your soul for.

(Despotz Records, April 28, 2017)

Rating: 9/10

Jeff enjoys satanic death metal and may still be banned from Canada.

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