Sangue - "Sangue"
Massive thanks to Fuzzy Cracklins for introducing me to this record! Sangue is a 3-piece sludge/stoner/doom outfit from beautiful Italy, but this record is as far from beautiful (in the best kind of way!) as anything can be. Its brutal, relentless and smashes you over the head time and time again with unforgiving grooves and sheer heaviness and great melodies! I haven’t heard anything this good in ages! So let's dive in!
Location: Bari, Italy
Fish McRave - Guitar/Vocals,
Maurizio Leonardi - Bass,
Roy Fritatta - Drums.
Review: The opening track, “Mharles Canson” kicks this release off with a groove-tastic bass line, which immediately lures me into a false sense of security. I’m led to believe this is going to be a trippy jam until 15 seconds in, I’m pummelled with a combination of the most nasty and filthy tones I’ve heard in ages. Right away, I’m hooked! The track continues to groove, and I can’t help but nod my head. It’s transfixing and euphoric as it is sinister. But now things really start to pick up! Track two: “Monday’s Song” is (to my ears), the stand-out song on this record. Again, the listener is treated to a huge groove (drink a shot of whiskey every time I mention how much I love the grooves) from this solid rhythm section, combined with some killer tones which soar majestically while they are also terrifying. Everything from the thundering drums, the crunching bass and the sick-as-fuck guitar has its place and is well-balanced throughout the track. Each instrument compliments the other and you can tell these are a group of musicians who really know how to write some killer tracks.
With that being said and as much as I love the instrumentation on this track, what really grabbed me the most was the vocals. Holy shit. By far some of the best vocals I’ve heard in a long time from a heavy band. It definitely follows and takes influence from legendary vocal performances within the stoner/sludge genre, but there is something added to the combination here which makes it stand head-and-shoulders above many, many bands today. This continues throughout the rest of the record. If you are listening to the track and not moving your head to that monster groove, then what is wrong with you?! It grabs hold of you and pulls you into its evil lair and there is no release from it!
“Abissine” brings out more of the old-school doom metal which is embedded in Sangue’s sound. Just imagine what the end of the world would sound like as it’s recorded by 3 guys and blasted through your speakers. This is what this track sounds like!
“Hellyou” runs through just over two minutes of sonic-goodness before being treated to the reappearance of vocals. I could have easily listened to another two, three, four or even five more minutes of these guys jamming. Not for a single moment do I lose any interest. Throughout the intro, the guitar breaks into some short solos/lead playing – combining elements of noise rock and stoner rock. Think Unsane meets Yob. Noisy yet atmospheric. It puts you on edge and you being to feel anxious – anticipating what’s to come.
I keep thinking to myself how good the song writing, and the musicianship is on all of these tracks and both “Abissine” and “Hellyou” are both examples of this! With the vocals added to the mix, everything sits perfectly, and there are some great dynamic shifts. The instrumentation sits back and allows the vocals to carry the song for a brief moment until you are pelted full-force in the face with a wall of sound! I know I said “Monday’s Song” was the standout track on this record for me, but either of these two are a very, very close second.
Lastly, we are treated to the longest track on the record: “In the Cave”, which clocks in at just over 11 minutes. Remember how I said previously I could easily listen to more of these guys jamming for longer? Well, I’m not disappointed, and I my wish is granted on the final track. A beautifully arranged instrumental to build the anticipation with a great use of dynamics demonstrated again. The song beings to tear flesh before stepping back and allowing some breathing space. Mellowing out with more grooves before letting loose until the final moments of the track where it becomes a full-on barrage and sludge and doom. A great ending to a great record!
Verdict: Sangue is the first band to be reviewed by The Squealing Hog, and man, have these guys set the bar high! Killer tracks, killer melodies, killer grooves! The whole package! You’d better put your groove-hooves on for this record. You won’t be able to stay still! And be warned. You may find it difficult to find another record as good as this one, anytime soon! Solid full-marks!
FFO: Zoroaster, Unsane, Goatsnake