Don't listen to this album if you are in a good mood. Theatrical, symphonic, dark and depressing, Sangue Cassia seems intent on ripping any positive thoughts out of you and drowning them under walls of distortion and melancholy keyboards.
Taking obvious cues from Scandinavia's brand of funeral doom metal (Swallow the Sun, Shape of Despair, Skepticism), it's a bit of a surprise that Sinistro hail from sunny Portugal. There is a definite element of Portuguese Fado in Patricia Andrade's vocals, one of the few beautiful elements that keep Sinistro from toppling into the abyss. Andrade is the band's greatest asset, a sultry crooner whose voice adds an entirely new layer to the band's sound. Singing entirely in Portuguese, she allows the listener's mind to wander down dark paths, particularly on the achingly slow "Cosmos Controle." At other times, like on "Lotus" or "Cravo Carne," the Earth-shaking sounds emitting from Rick Chain's guitar are simply too overwhelming to focus on anything else beyond not going deaf.
One bright moment of creativity comes on "Nuvem," which opens with a smattering of Nine Inch Nails-esque drum machines. Unfortunately, aside from "Nuvem" and Andrade's vocals, most of Sangue Cassia plays like funeral doom by the numbers. Sinistro could have Fado-doom nailed down if they would just look past, rather then to, their influences for inspiration. (Season of Mist)