Cantata Sangui - On Rituals And Correspondence In Constructed Realities
Season Of Mist
Experimental Gothic Metal
12 songs (46:02)
Release year: 2009
Cantata Sangui, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

There’s plenty that marks Finnish newcomers Cantata Sangui out from the other Gothic Metal bands that fill up the genre like entries at a William Shatner-lookalike contest. For a start, the band features members from Black Metal weirdos Enochian Crescent, which adds a rather intriguing facet to their sound. In addition, there are no guitarists in the band: two bassists make up the music, relying on keyboards to fill any gaps, and the end result is a distinctly strange mixture. Everything from old Korn to Rush to Black Metal is in the mix, first track proper We’ll Have It On Us alone going through all of these and more. Now, it’s more than likely that the Metal faithful will be currently busy scraping the vomit off their monitors at the sight of the dreaded ‘K-word’ but On Rituals And Correspondence In Constructed Realities, as the band has tiresomely titled their debut full-length, is far from Nu-Metal. There’s more of an Industrial influence than the Alt-Metal some Gothic Metal bands go for, the backing male vocals on Exaltata reminding me of Deathstars, but wait! In a good way!

Whatever your initial response to Cantata Sangui, it’s hard to deny that the band has hidden depths. Songs like Broken Stars are intriguingly constructed, the dual bass adding a literal depth that’s verging on the Toolish, and whilst as expected female vocalist Anna has a Poppy voice and male vocalist Kari has a nasty growl, the two are implemented infrequently enough to make it apparent that chart success is not where these guys are headed. For The Forgotten One takes a slow Doomy approach, atmospheric and oddly psychedelic, spiralling into near-madness towards the end of the song, whilst following track Fruitarians starts like Primus meeting Epica, before twisting into an electronic-backed groover that Theatre Of Tragedy could have produced. The Seven Liers-in-Wait takes a more Gothic-Doom turn, before Reality kicks in – an atmospheric bass solo. Everything comes together on No Longer In The Eyes Of Aletheia, an annoyingly danceable song that has stuck in my head ever since.

If there’s a downside to this band, it’s the sense at times that they’re struggling to make the elements fit together. Fine, On Rituals... is a debut, but the band has been in existence since 1997, and as cool as a five-minute long droning epic driven by piano can be (think the closing songs from the last four Fear Factory albums with a female vocalist) does Sidecast really fit next to the speedier Lazarus? In addition, of course, the lack of guitars is a real barrier. More than a couple of times I caught myself wishing that the band had decided to stick some proper guitar riffs in, the songs really crying out for them. The atmospheric approach does work more often than not, finale De Profundis especially spine-chilling with its monklike chanting. Truthfully, Cantata Sangui may well be onto a good thing, but it’ll take another album from them to get the formula balanced and perfected. In the meantime, fans of Gothic Metal who have gotten a little tired with the norm will get a kick out of On Rituals... but I can’t see it being a favourite for many, for long.

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Killing Songs :
We’ll Have It On Us, Broken Stars, For The Forgotten Ones, No Longer In The Eyes Of Aletheia, De Profundis
Goat quoted 65 / 100
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