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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Sangre Cavallum - Pátria Granítica [Ahnstern/Steinklang - 2006]

Sangre Cavallum play a dense and often heady mix of neo classical, neo folk, prog/ post rock, world music,with soundtrack/ ambient touches.This is this Portuguese project 3rd Album if you include their Collaboration with Allerseelen from early this year.

Incidentally that wonderful spilt with Allerseelen entitled  Barco Do Vinho(reviewed here ) is what first got me interested in this project and though this full length is not quite as quirky, playful or memorable as the split- it’s still pretty fine album with a much more epic and grand serious air about it.The album celebrates of the lives of the  ancient pre-Christian  people of North Portugal called theCallǽcia, the cover and booklet are wondefully illustrated with  photographs of the Callǽcia's beautiful yet bleak stone structures.

The amount of instruments and depth of sound on display  is the most impressive thing here and the way the manage to orchestrate it all together so well. A small taster of the instrumental sounds on offer are; Portuguese traditional Guitars, Mandolins, alpine zithers, violin, harp, bagpipes, flute, accordion, Lyre, ebow ,Psaltery and the list goes on. There’s also use of more traditional rock instrumentation  with the likes of guitar, bass and piano and  slight use of electronics and synth- but this never takes away from the ancient/ folky feel of the music.  

Most of the tracks tend to be dense, powerful and mysterious, which though rewarding on the whole does become a little overbearing at certain points. It would have been nice to hear what they could do with a less crowded and dense sound sometimes.  Another slight criticism is there’s little here that’s memorable tune wise, they clearly can write nice melodies as they pop up here and there and were in evidence on Barco Do Vinho. Mainly here they seem to concentrate on the layers of sound and atmosphere and not enough on the tunes.

Certainly an accomplished and varied collection of tracks that will surely be of interest to fans of Allerseelen and Sturmpercht. The tracks just need a bit more melodic polish and  be aloud to show less dense and more ambient shades and they’ll have a real winner on their hands.

Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5

Roger Batty
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