"To Hell and Back" (Nuclear Blast; 2000)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Sinergy's "To Hell and Back" is one of those CDs that you like from the first note to the last. A rare blend of power metal, true metal, progressive metal and a dash of Goth, as well a few other metal influences, "To Hell and Back" plays with the fury and strength of metal veterans Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Stratovarius, Helloween and Gamma Ray.

Despite the band's incredible musicianship (raging guitars, thundering drums, throbbing bass), the real surprise is vocalist Kimberly Goss - a female singer whose voice is one of the rare breed of female vocals that aren't overwhelmed by heavy metal music. Goss's voice never fades into the explosive power of the metal on "To Hell and Back" and, in fact, most often soars above it. Curiously, at times she sounds a little like Megadeth's Dave Mustaine, especially on "Return to the Fourth World." There's an eerie sadness to her voice, too, that works with the band's lyrics. Even when the time comes for the obligatory ballad ("Laid to Rest"), Goss's voice is strong enough to hold the listener's interest.

Back to the musicianship involved here, the guitars on "To Hell and Back" range from sounding a like those of Richie Blackmore or Yngwie Malmsteen to those of K.K. Downing or Adrian Smith. The production is also a real star here; "To Hell and Back" is brilliantly clear and sharp and sounds even better the louder you crank up the volume.

Fans of bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and especially Helloween will find something to like on "To Hell and Back." Fans of female vocalists will find a new hero here in Kimberly Goss.

Sinergy: Kimberly Goss, Alexi Laiho, Roope Latvala, Marco Hietala, Tommi Lillman.

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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 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 05 Aug 2018 19:36:41 -0400.