"Follow Me" (Dezpots Records; 2017)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Vocalist Liv Sin (Liv Jagrell), formerly of Sister Sin, bursts back into the limelight with "Follow Me," a powerful collection of hard and heavy tunes that will satisfy fans of Sister Sin and anyone who considers themself a fan of hard rock and heavy metal.

As I listened to "Follow Me," I was often reminded of the sound of Accept and Udo. The music was thick and heavy and Liv's vocals are strong and edgy. So I wasn't surprised when I discovered that the producers were, in fact, Fitty Weinhold and Stefan Kaufmann, who had worked with both Accept and Udo in the past. The album sounds great from beginning to end.

For the most part, "Follow Me" is a little heavier than Sister Sin usually was, and that's just fine with me. It seems a little darker, too, a little more dangerous, both lyrically and musically. The opening track sets the stage for this, with its devastating pace and "Painkiller"-era Judas Priest drive. The rest of the album follows suit, with hints of other metal genres giving each tune its own unique flavor.

The cover version of Fight's "Immortal Sin" here, with The 69 Eyes' Jyrki 69 joining Liv on vocals, was a little disappointing, I'm sorry to say. I was looking forward to it the entire time I was listening to the album and, when it finally came around (at track #10) it lacked the menace of the original, which I found a little surprising considering what I'd heard on the previous tracks. Oh, well. Maybe it will grow on me on future listens and, if not, it doesn't diminish the rest of this great album.

"Follow Me" ends with "The Beast Inside," a song with lyrics that seem very personal and, at first, seems to be the album's only "ballad-type" track. Liv sounds great here, by the way, delivering appropriately cleaner vocals. But things kick up at about the mid-point and, once again, things speed up and get heavy and the album ends with a bang.

"Follow Me" is one of the best albums I've heard this year and one that I will listen to often.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2017 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.