When there’s a mention of ‘female vocals’ and ‘doom’ in the same sentence, the word ‘kitsch’ may never be far behind. But this Lisbon-based band have far more to offer – and that’s mainly to do with their high priestess, Patricia Andrade, who is truly this record’s revelation. Allied more closely with the realms of sludge and post-metal than doom here, those scenes are often ugly, gnarly places, but Andrade’s voice is brighter than the rays of a thousand suns. No matter how crushing the guitars are – and they can be damn heavy – they never overshadow her performance, which is enhanced by the delicacy of the arrangements, twilit soundscapes and lysergic tempos. This almost hour-long third album is like watching the sun setting on the desert: even if you know that once it’s complete only darkness will prevail, it’s still so enthralling that you can’t help but stare. While there are almost cinematic moments on Sangue Càssia – Lótus’ intro brings to mind Earth, for instance – their bold choice to use only lyrics in their native tongue actually makes them the metal equivalent of fado: beautiful yet extremely sad music, made to deal with even sadder emotions.
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