SINE – Desire, Denial & Paramania

SINE has been slowly dominating the dark electronic scene with their wicked beats and industrial-tinged beats since 2016. Their efforts ultimately led them to release their debut album “INSOMNIÆ”, which has been critically acclaimed by both fans and critics alike. This success has led them to sell-out the CD version of the album, and they have only bolstered their place in the scene by officially releasing the “Injected” EP, two singles (one which features the legendary Chris Connelly), and two remixes (one done by the influential Meat Beat Manifesto).  It was only a matter of time until someone discovered SINE and record label eMERGENCY heARTS was the first. A partnership has been struck up between SINE and eMERGENCY heARTS, whereupon SINE has released a collection of songs from their recording period between 2016 and 2020 titled “Desire, Denial and Paramania”. While the compilation is well-off on its own for newcomers, fans who have been following SINE will find little reason to come to this release. 
Let me start off by saying that SINE is phenomenal; I absolutely adore the act and I’ve been obsessing over their music for the past month or so. I’ve played “INSOMNIÆ” countless of times and have revisited the “Injection” EP multiple times. The singles they’ve released, alongside the recent remixes, are nothing short of astounding. If this were a review of “INSOMNIÆ” on its own, I would easily give it around an eight-and-a-half or so; it’s thrilling and killing, electrifying and addictive. I could easily say the same for “Injected”; it’s a wonderful, smaller romp seeing SINE explore the dark and gritty industrial antics they became known for on “INSOMNIÆ” further. I could go on about SINE’s past releases but this is not a review for those; it’s a review for the compilation “Desire, Denial & Paramania”. 
What I find lacking in “Desire, Denial & Paramania” is new content, first and foremost. As far as I can see, the compilation has eleven tracks in total of which only three are truly brand new, those being ‘Virtual Realitease’, ‘Desolate District (NITE Remix)’, and The Meat Beat Manifesto remix of ‘Desolate District’. The songs that do appear on this compilation are great, don’t get me wrong; ‘Control’, ‘Desolate District’, ‘Drugs’, etc. But I’ve heard them before as have a lot of fans. And what’s more is that the compilation is $10 USD on both SINE’s and eMERGENCY heARTS’ Bandcamp for the digital version. Normally I don’t mention price as a negative, but if only three songs out of eleven are new, and the rest have been available in the past, I don’t see how the price correlates to what you’re getting.  The counter for this, however, is that this compilation has been released on CD and is available from SINE’s Bandcamp page. That means that those who missed out on the initial run of “INSOMNIÆ” can now scoop up a good chunk of the album with “Desire, Denial & Paramania” in physical format. It’s a debatable topic and one that I have mixed feelings on, as noted above.
However, in positive news, the new songs are great. ‘Virtual Realitease’ contains rumbling and deep synths and plucks from what sounds like a xylophone. The vocals, stretched out and digitally touched with backing vocals, takes me into a sci-fi world filled with flying aircraft and gritty, dangerous streets. It’s atmospheric and filled with digital soul; I adore it to be frank. The Meat Beat Manifesto remix of ‘Desolate District’ has technically been out for a month; it released last month on both SINE’s Bandcamp page and as a music video on YouTube. Nonetheless, it has a beat that can best be described as sleazy static feedback pushed into an industrial track. Both Rona Rogueheart and Chris Connelly’s vocals on this track are stellar. This song also reminds me of a cyberpunk dive bar; I can imagine it playing as crooks, thugs, and mercs from all over look at one another daring each other to whip out their weapon. Lastly, NITE’s remix of ‘Desolate District’ brings it into brighter dance territory, bordering the lines of synthpop. Rougher noise is present on the track, but it’s used as a texture that floats above the beat more than a main component; the touch, though soft, was made with balance in mind. And I respect it. 
So, “Desire, Denial & Paramania” is a bit of a letdown for me personally. After listening to SINE all over again to understand their music further, I was hoping that their release on eMERGENCY heARTS would contain something more. Yes, SINE’s discography is amazing and their production top notch; I know this and fans know that. But what I think many like myself want to see from SINE is not a re-release of past but relatively recent material (SINE’s debut album was released in 2019, just two years ago), but something brand new. And, sure, the new songs on the compilation are great. But, to reiterate, they are only three out of eleven which is not a whole lot. Though my thoughts are diverse on this compilation, my enthusiasm for SINE is not wavered. I am not discouraging myself or anyone else from listening to SINE and I hope that, if anything, this review encourages you to listen to them yourself and discover a project that’s simply brilliant.  
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