Sometimes you might feel out of place at a concert because you don’t know the main act everyone else is excited for, for example when you came for the support act or when a friend brought you along. When I went to see Sinsaenum, it was the other way round: I felt out of place because I was one of very few people who had actually come for the band and their music, not just to see Joey Jordison…
Because Sinsaenum are what you would call a death metal ‘supergroup’, started by guitarist Frédéric Leclercq who is doing pretty much the opposite to playing bass in Dragonforce with this project. And yes, Mr. Jordison is a part of the band too. So naturally a certain number of die hard Slipknot fans were gathering outside the venue who didn’t really make a secret out of the fact that their interest in Sinsaenum was rather mediocre, but they couldn’t resist the chance to see their idol play up close, meet him, get a tattooable signature… And to be honest, I can’t even blame them, I would probably do the same (except for the tattoo 😉). The Slipknot fans also made for good company in the queue, so we laughed at lot before the gig started.
Two bands opened the night before Sinsaenum; I loved Hatesphere who played a furious set with one kick ass riff chasing the next in their energetic thrash-influenced death metal songs. If the job of a support act is to get the audience pumped before the headliner, Hatesphere did an outstanding job.
But then Sinsaenum came up, played a good mix of songs from both their two albums, and absolutely killed it. To be fair, the show wasn’t even perfect – the performance was rather static, the sound in front of the stage was not bad but far from great, and the playing was a bit sloppy sometimes (yes, that even goes for the drums). The only band member who nailed his parts was vocalist Sean Zatorsky whose screams were crushing and whose beard was the visual highlight of the show (although the lights didn’t look bad either 😉).
But despite the minor flaws in the show, overall the set was still incredibly good, due to the simple fact that Sinsaenum have some fantastic songs! They are not the kind of death metal band who think that everything needs to be as fast and as brutal as possible. Of course they have some wild shredding and speedy solos in their songs, but they have a good feeling for varying tempos and for interchanging the virtuous parts with very simple and memorable riffs. (I have this idea in my head that sometimes those musicians who are very experienced at writing melodic songs are the better death metal songwriters too, because their approach to the matter comes from a more “musical” point of view and they have a better feeling for how to build a good song or even a whole album that stays interesting over the course of 40 minutes or more…) Overall, Sinsaenum’s songs are filled with dynamite, and this worked amazing when they exploded in the live setting! They got the crowd going, the 11 songs they smashed at us with no encore went over in the blink of an eye… And in the end, I think even the Slipknot fanboys were convinced. 😉