The first album of the year to be included in the club of the Best New Music comes from Portugal, and it’s a it is a deep, complex and absolutely unique work of its kind.
Sangue Cassia, by the Portuguese Sinistro, is an album for those who have time. Time for long songs, time for repeated listens, time to get rid of all the distractions and be carried away by the incredible music of this group. And because of the above, this album is absolutely out of context compared to our days, when most people want simple and short songs to be heard in the background while chatting or driving.
From a musical point of view, Sangue Cassia is a hybrid album and it results quite difficult to tag and catalogate into a single genre. Let me define this as a variant of the classic post-metal that incorporates heavy influences from doom and some slight elements from sludge. One of the main features of Sinistro, and perhaps the most brilliant element of their music, is undoubtedly the splendid voice of Patrícia Andrade. Her vocal lines are the instrument through which the songs of this album (and the previous ones, to tell the truth) rise from normal post-metal tracks to something deeper, and special. At times it seems that all the music composed and played by the group was made exclusively to be the soundscape over which the singer could release her charismatic charge and free her splendid voice. As we will highlight in the following, however, in some situations this is also one of the limits of the album.
As it is easy to imagine looking to the artwork of the LP, the atmospheres in the songs in Sangue Cassia are dark and slightly disturbing, but in this case without reaching the excess. There is in fact almost always a light at the end of the tunnel, a glimmer of hope, and this makes the songs even more interesting to hear.
One of the few problems of the album, in my opinion, lies in the fact that almost all the songs manage to build an atmosphere that evolves and grows according to the typical dynamics of post-metal, but instead of exploding in a climax it remains there suspended in a delicate and unstable point of equilibrium that never turns into something definitive. More than a precise stylistic choice, it’s more like the band decided for some reason not to travel that last mile that would make their songs definitely memorable.
The members of the Sinistro use to describe their music as “cinematic”. And in fact they can create extremely evocative atmospheres and suggestive soundscapes. If only something more was happening in these scenes, then we would have had an absolute masterpiece in our hands.
The release date for Sangue Cassia is January 5th, 2018.