Sinister Street – The Eve of Innocence (1992)

SinisterStreet_EveInnocence4 out of 5 Stars!

In many respects, Sinister Street, a group formed in the Netherlands, reminded me of bands such as Saga or Alias Eye, especially when it came to the tone, range, and vibrato of the lead vocalist (who occasionally comes across as a Michael Sadler clone), who offered plenty of Pop-like melody lines over Prog-Rock instrumentation, mostly in the Neo-Prog vein.

And despite the band’s rather ominous moniker, the music is generally not “sinister” at all. For instance, on The Eve of Innocence, the band’s debut release, the rhythms, melody lines, and chord patterns are often upbeat in nature, as displayed on tracks such as “One in a Million,” “Caught in Flight,” and “Exception to the Rule.” Although this doesn’t mean that drama is completely absent from the band’s overall repertoire. Indeed, other tunes such as “A Prayer for the Dying,” “The Covenant,” and “Pulse of Life,” are each highly moody and atmospheric, thanks to their diverse instrumentation. And several additional compositions—”Summit (Boundaries, Part 1)” and “A Provisional Anthem (Boundaries, Part 2)”—swing from mood to mood, tempo to tempo, in each of their eight-plus-minute lengths, with complex arrangements and loads of guitar and synth solos in the best Neo-Prog tradition of bands such as IQ, Pallas, Also Eden, Citizen Cain, or early Marillion, as well as the aforementioned Saga and Alias Eye.

Therefore, it’s too bad this talented yet obscure band released only two full-length albums—The Eve of Innocence and, after numerous changes in personnel, a second collection called Trust a full decade later—as I would have happily welcomed additional material.

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