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Sister Sin proves that rock n’ roll isn’t really dead after all

in SF Concert Reviews by

Not sure what they’re putting in the water in Sweden these days, but the country keeps pushing out one great rock n roll band after the next. Sister Sin, fronted by the magnetic rock warrior Liv Sin, is no exception. In much the same way that I can imagine Thor pounding his hammer on the poor unsuspecting souls that he needed to conquer to protect mankind, this band used a mix of thundering drums, face melting guitar solos and raging vocals to do the same to the Slayer disciples that congregated in Mountain View for the Mayhem Rockstar Festival on Sunday afternoon.

Sister Sin bringing classic heavy metal back
Louis Raphael

You really have to hand it to this bunch from Gotenburg, Sweden. It’s not easy being the only classic metal rock band playing on a hardcore bill like Mayhem. The crowd expects a certain level of bruteness and growl from its music, that Sister Sin just doesn’t have; probably more by choice than inability. What these guys and gal do possess are polished melodic heavy metal songs delivered by a high energy ensemble chock-full of charisma. That afternoon, the band stole the show by blasting onto the stage with the same power and might as their viking ancestors did so long ago, and slayed the audience with a timeless style of authentic old school classic metal that hasn’t been heard in a new band in years.

Sister Sin was formed in 2002 and released various recordings via smaller indie labels before issuing their first non-indie album Switchblade Serenades via Victory Records in October 2008; it reached number 107 on Top Heatseekers in the first week of release in the US. The band performed two US national tours in support of the album, with bands like Motörhead, Otep, and Ill Niño. They’ve released 4 full length albums to date, with the newest “Black Lotus” released October 27, 2014.

The Sister Sin sound is reminiscent of early W.A.S.P, Motorhead, Motley Crue, Twisted Sister but with the attitude and sex appeal of a band like Skid Row. Liv’s voice has a unique growl attached to it, which cuts through ferociously in the mix. It’s refreshing to hear a chick with more cajones than many of the whiney hard rock Emo singers your hear on the radio these days, tear the stage up like she owns it. She’s reminiscent of a glam version of Wendy O Williams, and proves that a female heavy metal lead singer can be both feminine and attractive, but also able to kick your ass at the same time.

The lyrics of “Fight Song” pretty much summed up the performance and when Liv hurled these words to the crowd, you knew the world would never be the same and this band would not be forgotten:

“F*** you! F*** them and f*** the world too.
Do I look like some bitch to you?!
I’ll bet a blackened eye that you’ll remember my name.”


Set list:

Food for Worms
Chaos Royale
Fight Song
One of Them
Sail North

Remaining 2015 Tour Dates:

June 30 SE Auburn, WA
July 01 Nampa, ID
July 03 Phoenix, AZ
July 05 Morrison, CO
July 07 Council Bluffs, IA
July 08 Milwaukee, WI
July 11 Clarkston, MI
July 15 Toronto, ON
July 17 Camden, NJ
July 18 Burgettstown, PA
July 19 Hartford, CT
July 21 Holmdel, NJ
July 22 Erie, PA
July 24 Bristow, VA
July 25 Mansfield, MA
July 26 Wantagh, NY
July 29 Atlanta, GA
July 31 San Antonio, TX
August 01 The Woodlands, TX
August 02 Dallas, TX

Having released albums under Digital Nations, a label founded by Steve Vai, music critic Louis Raphael has remained deeply connected to the pulse of the San Francisco music scene. Following his tenure as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he embarked on creating Music in SF® to authentically highlight the vibrant offerings of the city's music scene.

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