Thursday 25 January 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: Sinistro - "Sangue Cassia"

By: Ernesto Aguilar

Album Type: Full length
Date Released: 05/01/ 2018
Label: Season Of Mist

Think a heavier Massive Attack, a dash of post-rock, a helping of menace and a blend of orchestration that makes it really an interesting listen.  This is exceptional stuff for a band you may not hear lots about, but they’re definitely worth your time.

"Sangue Cassia" CD//DD//LP track listing

1. Cosmos Controle
2. Lotus
3. Petalas
4. Vento Sul
5. Abismo
6. Nuvem
7. Gardenia
8. Cravo Carne

The Review:

Most people have heard of Cirque De Soleil, the French-Canadian aerial troupe that has evolved from a hipster, no-animal circus into an entertainment powerhouse in Las Vegas casinos, Beatles and Michael Jackson-themed acrobatic arena tours and worldwide television. Even if you have never attended, you have probably heard of Cirque's elaborate stunts and interpretative dance. It caters to the culturally curious, while staying relatively accessible to the suburbs. Its performances are punctuated by a rich score, one that melds influences from world music, contemporary rock and pop and live instrumentation in a fashion aimed at pulling together its often quirky tales. If you are familiar with Cirque's soundtrack, hearing Sinistro is probably one of the few times you'll be brought back to that mental space of being inside one of the act's big tops.

Such a comparison is a compliment and not a put down. Cirque has a fine attention to detail and effortlessly sets up a scene in a way most musicians struggle with. "Sangue Cassia" is an intelligent and infinitely listenable album. However, the comparison may also serve as fair warning to you, generous listener. If you read the standard descriptions of Sinistro as doom or a rock/metal derivative, you will soon learn the five-piece is not. It shares an atmospheric or tonal quality of doom, possibly – most strongly on cuts like "Cosmos Controle" and "Cravo Carne" – yet it's not that really. It is instead a dash of post-rock, a helping of menace and a blend of orchestration that makes it really an interesting listen. Think a heavier Massive Attack. You may not like it if Morbid Angel or Tombs are your jams, though.

The Portuguese band has been around a minute – 2012 to be exact – but it seemed to take off in 2013, when it added vocalist Patricia Andrade. Andrade brings to Sinistro a particular beauty to the double-guitar stylings of Rick Chain and Ricardo Matias. You will soon discover her range is formidable; songs like "Lotus" and "Vento Sul" are an outstanding showcase for what Andrade does best, using her strong voice to draw the emotion out of Sinistro's heady blend of an experience, creatively supported by Paulo Lafaia on drums and Fernando Matias on bass and synths.

"Sangue Cassia" is at its greatest when his forceful guitars show out on tracks such as "Petalas" or "Abismo." Andrade is commanding with her singing (it's clean, by the way), while the bass and drums foment the energy. A post-rock song like "Nuvem" matches Andrade's ethereal vocals with droning rhythm and guitars. The noise influence on "Gardenia" has underlying hints of paradoxical subtlety. Overall, across these divergent selections, is an aesthetic that has a distinctly symphonic flair. It's not the Carach Angren kind of symphonic, but it has a 'big' feel. Exceptional stuff for a band you may not hear lots about, and worth your time.

"Sangue Cassia" is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook