Review Summary: More daring, more evocative, more alluring. Sinistro have released their magnum opus.
Sinistro are a band that seem to be getting better and better with every release. Humble beginnings could be attributed to the band's debut, sure, but even back then listeners and new fans knew they were getting into something special, something different to latch onto. If anything, spectacular sophomore effort Semente
did away with any accusations that the band were a one-trick pony, and the band proved that their alluring display of Andrade's charming vocal aesthetic coupled with the gentle albeit still menacing doom metal sub-genre was powerful if not particularly accessible. Well, if Semente
planted the seeds of this progression, then this year's Sangue Cássia
is surely the flower in full growth.
from the get-go gives you the impression of a band that has taken everything that worked in their favour on previous records and stretched it into bigger and bolder worlds. That is to say, near enough every song on this album feels ambitious. Songs such as the harrowing opener "Cosmos Controle", "Abismo" and breathtaking closer "Cravo Carne" all demonstrate the sound progression the band have tentatively worked on with maximum effort, yet in no way do they rid Sinistro of what made Semente
a success. Instead, the elements of that sophomore effort have been emboldened, and you can sense this from the very beginning with "Cosmos Controle". Its 11-minute runtime is an exploration through Patricia Andrade's immediate vocal prowess as her serenades provide comfort for the doomier, more aggressive vibe of the band's instrumental delivery. At the halfway point, the band embark on a more isolated, ambient sound which still sounds like it's about to erupt at any given moment. Yet when it does erupt, it doesn't feel like there has been a significant loss to the song's flow. Instead, you're hit with the idea that this "eruption" is a perfect placement, one which spirals into almost psychedelic flourishes because of its magnitudinous performance. The same can be said for one of Sangue Cássia
's previews in "Abismo", a much more immediate yet no less satisyfing number than "Cosmos Controle". With "Abismo", the band see fit to deliver an onslaught of aggressive doom and sludge metal styles from the get-go rather than building into it, but strangely enough the experience feels no less wondrous as you're convinced of the band's unrelenting aspirations by the end of the song.
What isn't quite as obvious in Sangue Cássia
is the level of experimentation the band had hinted at in the past. Even on Semente
, what appeared to the listener at first glance was simply a mixture of Andrade's enticing vocals and a display of slightly progressive doom metal. Well here we have a song such as "Lótus" (another of the album's previews, accompanied by a video), which, despite its early placement on the album, already suggests Sinistro are heading further into the world of experimental music. It works fantastically too. Building on a singular note for a minute becomes a mass-laden main riff which powers through the sense of isolation and really stretches itself to appear as big and as bold as possible. Throughout the song's 8-minute runtime, Sinistro appear to have perfected the balance between clashing emotions, light and darkness and the obviously differing styles which normally is hard to perfect for most bands simply starting to find their feet. "Vento Sul" is another outstanding example. It is shorter than its surrounding songs, but brings another side of the band's experimental side to light. This is perhaps the one song on Sangue Cássia
which opens up Sinistro's collective liking for the inclusion of psychedelic flourishes, and halfway through "Vento Sul", you can hear this as Andrade's vocals take on a much more commanding role than usual. Like "Abismo" and "Pétalas", it wastes little time building into something monumental and instead gets straight to the focal point, so that the level of potential boredom is kept to a minimum.
Essentially, Sangue Cássia
is a real magnum opus for Sinistro. Sure, Semente
presented a signal of bigger and bolder musicianship, but the band's third album signifies their voyage to greater things and a certainly brighter future. Sure, Sinistro's daring approach of balancing usually dulcet, deeply emotional vocals with the harsher display of doom and sludge metal influences may still put listeners off repeated listens, but for the right people (who mostly will have enjoyed the band's past material somewhat) Sangue Cássia
is going to be a real gem.