• ''Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention?'' (lyrics from ''Sermon'')

    This is the first of a series of reviews revisiting influential records of the past that walk off the beaten path. I rediscovered Drowning Pool's Sinner when I recently found the album in a used record store for twenty-five cents and was ultimately able to purchase it for free with two other albums. Obviously, this nu metal milestone that was recently reissued as Unlucky 13th anniversary deluxe edition is worth far more than the fee I ended up paying for it. Read on to get to know more.

    Drowning Pool - Sinner (2001)

    Nu metal is a genre that has shaped rock and metal music in the beginning of the new millennium just like industriual metal in the mid-nineties, groove metal in the early nineties and extreme metal in the late eighties. These genres weren't immediately accepted and discussed quite controversially but they brought some fresh inspiration to a more and more diversified genre. Today's successors in spirit are Japanese kawaii metal bands with its combination of idol pop music, eclectic commercial music and melodic metal influences. Nu metal featured simple yet syncopated guitar riffs, a syteady rhythm section, aggressive vocals performing emotional lyrics and usually short and aggressive songs flirting at times with unusual genres like funk, grunge and hip hop.

    Drowning Pool was one of the first and important bands of this genre along with KoRn, Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park. The band's debut release Sinner was a huge success more than seventeen years ago and convinced with concise songwriting, brutal instrumentation and emotional lyrics. Several songs were fittingly used by World Wrestling Entertainment while others were used in the Dragon Ball Z series and the popular The Scorpion King movie.

    Despite being unexpectedly successful, Drowning Pool's Sinner is also related to the band's greatest tragedy from which it never truly recovered and which explains why Drowning Pool hasn't become as popular as KoRn, Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park in the long run. Charismatic singer Dave Williams who performs angry shouts, unchained screams, uplifting melodic lines, mantra-like chants and even uses lower register vocals died of cardiomyopathy while touring with his band in support of this breakthrough record.

    Sinner is his testament to the world and it's an diversified, emotive, entertaining, passionate and powerful heritage. The short and concise opener ''Sinner'' comes around with memorable chorus, inspired lyrics and powerful riffs in less than two and a half minutes. The sinister yet energetic ''Bodies'' about the brotherhood of the moshpit is still one of the most popular nu metal songs ever released. The greatest song on this record might be the melancholic ''Tear Away'' with its discordant industrial riffs cointrasted by passionately melodic vocals. These are only the first three songs of the record but instead of getting weaker, Drowning Pool's Sinner convinces from start to finish with ten clever songs and a concise running time of thorty-seven and a half minutes.

    This consistent nu metal milestone hasn't lost any of its creativity, emotions and energy. It has stood the test of time and can be remembered as a monument of the nu metal genre in a time when this type of music has become less important. Revisiting this record is a violent fun ride and emotional trip down memory lane. Crank up the volume and enjoy it to the fullest.

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