Two years after their self titled EP, Sangue come back to us with their debut full length, showcasing an enviable evolution in terms of sound both on the front of production and that of arrangement. In fact, while the EP was arguably appreciable for its sheer rawness (I, for one did really enjoy that, considering it is a very short record, the clearier, punchier production which is offered by The Devil’s Mark Studio) is the element that elevates the tracks, already excellent on the songwriting aspect, to a whole another level.
This is particularly apparent on “The Rite of Cosmic Void”, being it present on the previous record as well, the new version enhances the eerie guitar melodies, stripping away some of the harsh distortion that was making the riffs almost unintelligible and adding some room to the drums, thus creating a greater sense of spaciousness. This last one might be the most relevant element contributing to the record’s greatness: the large, reverberated, yet defined, sound confers an almost theatrical magnitude to the tracks, conveying a sense of impending doom and a sinister atmosphere that perfectly fits both the artwork by Timo Ketola and the general aesthetic of the band.
The style appears as a death-veined black metal, and much of the background of the members is to be found in the death scene, being Offender the former singer of Morbo and VII Arcano, while Alex Wank, founding member of Austrian Pungent Stench, sits behind the set. The guitar work is well-thought and intricated, balancing furious riffs with more melodic moments, the tone being both thick and resonant, without resulting oversaturated. The vocal timber is simply unique in such a context: prophetical and delirious, evoking imagery from the mysterious Etruscan mythology around which the band’s concept revolves. The drums sound massive, echoing and incredibly powerful, varying from primitive atmospheric grooves up to raging blast beats.
All in all, this record offers a ritual-like experience, and every listen conceals a new exciting nuance to unfold, highly recommended and probably one of the best works coming out of Italy in the latest period. (LucaR)