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Cantata Sangui: On Rituals and Correspondence in Constructed Realities

On Rituals and Correspondence in Constructed Realities is not only a mouthful to say it's also the debut album from Finnish band Cantata Sangui. Recorded as a five piece, the first point of interest is that this album contains no guitars; instead there are two bassists, Tuomas Tunturituuli and Mika A. A. Hyytinen, who has subsequently left the band due to family reasons, and Hanna Sirola on keyboards and samples, completing the line up are Bolton on drums and Anna Pienimaki on vocals.

So with no conventional lead instrument and a press release that talks of "smashing like a steam rolling juggernaut" and being "Fuelled by the mighty clanging and pounding heaviness of bass strings", I was not prepared for the intricate and accessible melodies that run through the whole album. Instead of an uncompromising barrage of doom the songs are a good mixture of upbeat memorable hooks and intense heavy, gothic passages. Yes in many places they are doom inspired, however Pienimaki's confident, seductive vocals and Sirola's involving keyboard patterns ensure that ORACICR never gets bogged down by its own intensity.

"No Longer In The Eyes Of Aletheia" and "Exaltata" show a very accessible side to the band's sound, in fact neither would feel too far out of place on an album by the likes of Kamelot. Pienimaki's processed vocals, which come across like a beautiful automaton, counter balance the bass riffing perfectly and the growling backing vocals add a different dimension. The growls never dominate proceedings, rather they are used more as an instrument than the focal point and are all the better for it.

Whilst there are stand out moments, ORACICR, is best listened to in its entirety, it's a well paced and well constructed album with shorter songs linking the more epic tracks well. Album intro "In Half Light", which is an atmospheric spoken word opening to proceedings, along with bass instrumental "Reality" and closing track "De Profundis" which would be best described as a Latin "chant", allow the album to have a more grand scope.

Not quite everything comes off as intended, "We'll Have It On Us" and "Lazarus" both have beautiful melodies that are smothered by a machine gun snare drum that really does nothing for the music, and confuses experimenting with overplaying, however on the whole the wide mix of styles blend well.

It's a testament to the four, five, six and even twelve string bass talent in the band that if you didn't know there were no guitars anywhere in Cantata Sangui's music the thought would never cross your mind and it does give the band a different element.

Cantata Sangui take no prisoners, but do so with tight well written songs, not just mind numbing heaviness.

Track Listing
1. In Half-Light
2. We'll Have It On Us
3. Exaltata
4. Broken Stars
5. For The Forgotten One
6. Fruitarians
7. The Seven Liers-In-Wait
8. Reality
9. No Longer In The Eyes Of Aletheia
10. Sidecast
11. Lazarus
12. De Profundis

Added: July 5th 2009
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 2063
Language: english

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