The band debuted with an album self-titled in 2012, solely instrumental. 2013 saw a cooperation called “Cidade” with Patricia Andrade, who became their lead singer. Then, the album “Semente” in 2016 was very powerful and a complete surprise to myself. I was not expecting the lyrical capability and the musical power when I heard it for the first time. Recently released, “Sangue Cássia” crystalizes a steady group that has the particularity of fully singing in Portuguese language, with a female voice dragging you to the depths of sorrow. The formula was tested, and it works once again.
That is special. And let’s make it clear, if it wasn’t for that particularity of having the Portuguese language might be that the band was just like any other doom group, atmospheric metal. It wouldn’t be bad, but also not that remarkable either. And while female vocals are very common and an irreplaceable side of doom metal nowadays, it is still very uncommon to listen to it in Portuguese. So… If you are in for a weird Latin language that sometimes resembles Slavic languages despite being right beside Spain, this is for you.
What are they singing about? Seasonality is the common theme, and the call of death applying to nature as unavoidable. Common theme in Portuguese music (at this point, I should make clear that I am Portuguese). Sinistro music resembles the traditional Portuguese music fado. But heavier. And darker. Important to fact to mention: the word “Fado” has some close meaning to “Doom” itself, as a destiny that you cannot escape from, with a woman lamenting her misfortunes together with a weeping guitar. So it’s surprising that there are not many more examples of Portuguese metal bands singing in Portuguese with women as lead singer.
Last November Moonspell, arguably the most known Portuguese metal band abroad, released the album “1755”, fully in Portuguese language. The album is about the change that the earthquake that stroke Lisbon had from that year on in the hearts and culture of Europe. Before them, we can recall Sepultura singing in the Brazilian variant of the same language, reaching the peaks of stardom with much more flair and rhythm from the tropics in it, so not quite the same vibe. So there is space and the crowd is mature enough to listen to other languages than English and it can be expected that many bands start bandwagoning Moonspell lead.
But enough with the linguistic approach. The album itself is solid but in all honesty, doesn’t stand out as it should compared to “Reliquia”, the previous incursion. I remember that album as outstanding for the fact that I wasn’t absolutely expecting a doom metal group to display that kind of power in my mother language. Surprise effect out, Sangue Cássia has its own merit and has certainly highlights. The flagship song, “Abismo”, relates to the proper feeling of a mermaid dragging the sailors into the abyss (that’s what Abismo means in English). This must be a fantastic song to be seen live, in a dim light, with a certain dose of echo. And unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to it yet.
Other great moment is “Petalas”, while in shorter length compared to the other tracks, breaks with the solely doom metal mode and gives a bit variation. It is slightly lighter. Another great plus is the bonus track where they perform a cover of Paradise Lost (finally a song in English). I personally like it slightly more than the original. But I’m a sucker for covers anyway.
To conclude: Sangue Cássia proves that the formula of doom metal in Portuguese works. It is not groundbreaking as their second album but does its plain job steadily. Two questions to be answered: How do they behave in concert? How’s it going to be their next album?
Patricia Andrade – Vocals
Y – Guitar
F – Bass, Keys
R – Guitar
P – Drums
01. Cosmos Controle
04. Vento Sul
08. Cravo Carne