In this article I’ll be reviewing Sinistro’s ‘Sangue Cassia’, released January 5th via Season of Mist. Sinistro are a Portuguese band that formed in 2011, Sinistro consists of members Patricia Andrade’s vocals, Fernando Matias on keyboard & bass, Ricardo Matias & Rick Chain on guitar, as well as Paulo Lafaia on drums. This band can be difficult to place when it comes to genre but I’ll try my best, Sinistro is a fusion of doom, rock, ambient, & almost post-metal in nature, with erotic enchanting vocals from Andrade accompanied by masterful instrumental work. When I read in their bio that ‘soundtrack’ was a genre they claimed to be a part of I was confused as I was yet to see a band of their particular sound be able to pull of labelling themselves as such, but from the first track I soon saw exactly what they meant.
The album begins with Cosmos Controle, an 11 minute piece that really sets you up for the tone of the album, the song begins with a heavy definitive doom sound that immediately captures your attention, then the vocals lip in seamlessly, accented with an almost middle eastern vibe, power is conveyed though not to the point of overpowering the instruments, they seem to almost dance with one another without one overshadowing the other, from this very first track you can see exactly how they’ve claimed the title of soundtrack band & one can easily envision their music behind a lustful scene in a darker film. With a bridge of deep soulful vocals accompanied by naught but some strums of the guitar the song brings you down into a well of sombre emotion, then picking up again the song still rides the feeling just bestowed upon you but with a heavier feel then brings you down again into a beautiful soft piano outro.
Lotus is a simpler, shorter track, which is certainly needed after the rollercoaster you were just put on, the song rises & falls periodically, with a less middle eastern vibe this time but more a gothic or semi-operatic tone as well as spoken word, this track has an almost goth doom sound to it, certainly fitting of the bands vampesque aura. Petalas & Vento Sul continue in this manner, with a quitter more sensual feel, befitting the music one would find in an underground sanguinary bar scene with Abismo following suit, encapsulating a doomy ambient rock sound overlayed by soft alluring vocals.
Nuvem starts off not so different to the last three tracks, slower, sensual.. then slowly transitions into a chorus I’m not going to soon be able to get out of my head, the song then takes a far heavier turn than what was demonstrated in the tracks leading up to it, with a more metal feel to it rather than rock, save for periods of euphonic simplicity, the song it certainly distinguishable, again the band brings a rollercoaster of emotion with this track.
Gardenia continues elevating the hauntingly harsh sound Sinistro had begun to build with Nuvem, save for vocals that initially sound almost k-pop/j-pop in nature, as has been implied discreetly throughout the rest of the album but shortly they return to their romantic south-west European norm.
Last but not least we have Cravo Carne, it truly is a brilliant piece I fell in love with immediately, being the second longest song on the album at almost 10 minutes in length, it has a very slow, dark, heavy doom sound to it with artful use of vocals to accentuate the luscious & emotive nature conveyed throughout. The perfect way to end such a creatively elegant yet destructively captivating album, with many similarities to how it began, even bringing back the near eastern sound it had in the first track.
I commend Andrade for being able to make such a sweet seductive voice sound so.. well.. sinister & dark in feel. This is obviously accomplished with the help of the instruments creating a destructive doom foundation showing talent beyond what most are capable of, though with 20+ years under their belts as artists I’d expect no less than the perfection put forward. My only grievances with this album is that from a song by song point of view a fair few of the tracks are very similar to one another, whilst not inherently a bad thing a little repetitive for my taste. I’m deciding to look at this album as an all in one concept album though & from that standpoint it’s honestly beyond comparison, to even try to pigeon-hole this band into the confines of just metal, doom, art rock, soundtrack, or anything of the sort would be ludicrous & an insult to their talent, they’ve an absolutely magnificent original sound I‘ll likely have on repeat for weeks!!