SinisterPremier Schiedam death metal act Sinister has enjoyed two flushes of popularity and respect, first as recognised Euro pioneers of the genre then as a revitalised and female fronted force spearheading the return of Death Metal in mainland Europe. The band formed in April 1988 as a trio of frontman Mike van Mastrigt, guitarist Ron van de Polder and drummer Aad Kloosterwaard adding bassist Corzas in January 1989. This line-up recorded the 'Perpetual Damnation' demo on March 17th 1990, involving four originals and an unlisted cover of SLAYER's 'Praise Of Death'. Sales of the tape were strong, with over 1800 sold in 18 months, and SINISTER toured supporting ENTOMBED and DISHARMONIC ORCHESTRA. Seraphic Decay Records delivered a three track 7" EP in August 1991, Swiss label Witchhunt Records, an imprint noted for picking out influential bands, also weighed in with a 7" single 'Putrefying Remains' in September and the following year Sicktone put together two tracks as a split 7" single shared with Dutch / Swedish alliance MONASTERY. This outfit notably comprised SINISTER members Ron van de Polder and Aad Kloosterwaard in collaboration with ENTOMBED’s Lars Rosenberg.
Corzas left in May 1991 and bass duties were handed over to SEMPITERNAL DEATHREIGN's Frank Faase. Another line-up shuffle saw Ron van de Polder moving over to bass as SINISTER added second guitarist André Tolhuis (a.k.a. André Tolhuizen) of VULTURE. Thier second demo, 1991’s Sacramental Carnage, had secured enough interest to land a deal with Nuclear Blast. That same September SINISTER toured as support to ATROCITY. More touring opened up 1992 as SINISTER gained a valuable support slot to MORGOTH.
Debut album 'Cross The Styx' was produced at Mainstreet Studio Fautspach in Germany by ATROCITY's singer Alexander Krull. 'The Styx' tendered a tirade of mechanically minded, thrash infused death metal far ahead of its time and duly won instant plaudits. The band toured to promote 'Cross The Styx' by opening for DEICIDE, ENTOMBED, CANNIBAL CORPSE and ATROCITY among others.
SINISTER's second album, 'Diabolical Summoning', was recorded at TNT Studios in Gelsenkirchen during March 1993 and produced by Colin Richardson, with a third album appearing in 1995 entitled 'Hate'. By this juncture SINISTER was down to operating as a trio, Mike van Mastrigt, Aad Kloosterwaard with Bart van Wallenberg handling both guitar and bass. Promoting this opus the band put in European headline dates in February 1996 together with CREEPMIME, AVULSED and DARKSEED. A stop gap 1996 EP, 'Bastard Saints', marked the introduction of the SEVERE TORTURE credited bassist Michel Alderliefsten. This outing created consternation as it displayed a seismic shift towards American “Nu” influences, new songs being arranged in a much simpler fashion and, most controversially, two archive cuts, ‘Cross The Styx’ and ‘Epoch Of Denial’, being completely refashioned in similar, stripped down style.
Again SINISTER re-formulated, Aad Kloosterwaard with Bart van Wallenberg bringing in new singer Eric de Windt, from SEVERE TORTURE, and bass player Alex Paul to record the Vincent Dijkers co-produced 1998 'Aggressive Measures' album. In side operations, Mike van Mastrigt and Aad Kloosterwaard founded HOUWITSER in 1997 for the 'Death... But Not Buried' album, released in 1998. Mike van Mastrigt would also later front DEATHSQUAD.
Vocalist Eric de Windt decamped in August 1999, after which Joost Silvrants of Grindcore outfit INHUME and DROWNING IN TEARS took care of the vocal role until SINISTER surprised many by adopting a female lead singer Rachel Heyzer of OCCULT. Heyzer, a lady in possession of a mighty roar that would shame most male Death Metal vocalists, made her debut with the Hans Pieters produced 'Creative Killings' album. SINISTER switched from Nuclear Blast to the Hammerheart label, licensed in America to the Martyr Music Group, for the November 2001 release of 'Creative Killings'. The album included a cover version of POSSESSED's 'Storm In Your Mind'.
Aad Kloosterwaard would also occupy the drum stool for Death act THANATOS but would vacate this position in August 2001.
By early 2002 the SINISTER ranks saw departure of longstanding guitar player Bart van Wallenberg and subsequent the induction of CANTARA and GOD DETHRONED guitarist Pascal Grevinga for touring purposes. SINISTER would be announced as support to NILE's October European tour. Further European dates for November would be announced with the band forming up a package bill comprising SEPTIC FLESH, DISMEMBER and THYRFING. The band had their efforts rewarded by re-signing to Nuclear Blast label for a new studio album 'Savage Or Grace'.
Former SINISTER singer Mike van Mastrigt resurfaced in late 2002 in a new band union DEATH SQUAD working with ex-RADIATHOR guitarist Walter Tjwa, second guitarist J.G. and drummer Michel.
The band made further upward progress with the album 'Savage Or Grace' but adjusted its line up in August 2003, ousting both guitarist Pascal Grevinga and bassist Alex Paul. Guitarist Ron van de Polder, who had been involved in the song writing process for 1992's 'Cross The Styx' and 'Savage Or Grace', stepped in as replacement as the new look trio immediately set to work on a new album 'Heaven Termination'. This renewed burst of activity also manifested itself in a side project, INFINITED HATE comprising the full SINISTER triumvirate of Heyzer, van de Polder and Kloosterwaard. The first INFINITED HATE album was titled 'Revel In Bloodshed', being released in 2003. Follow up 'Heaven Termination' was released in 2005, originally written as a SINISTER comeback album.
In 2004 SINISTER would donate their rendition of 'Storm In My Mind' to the 'Seven Gates Of Horror' tribute album assembled by the Karmaggedon Media label in homage to pioneering Bay Area Thrash act POSSESSED. After 16 years of delivering extreme Metal, SINISTER folded in April 2004.
Word arrived in March 2005 that SINISTER, comprising a revised casting seeing Aad Kloosterwaard handling vocals, Paul Beltman, ex-JUDGEMENT DAY, on drums and Alex Paul on bass and guitar, had reformed yet again. Bas van den Boogard, also ex-JUDGEMENT DAY, was subsequently added on bass. The band entered Stage One studio in Germany to cut new album, 'Afterburner' in December for April 2006 release via Nuclear Blast. That October Aad Kloosterwaard sessioned guest vocals on demos for SUPREME PAIN.
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