Sinistro - Sangue Cássia album review

Progressive, Portuguese doom with acres of grace

Cover art for Sinistro - Sangue Cássia album

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‘Female-fronted’ is a contentious descriptor, but Patricia Andrade’s voice lends Portuguese doom quintet Sinistro such powerfully, uniquely feminine qualities that it seems remiss not to flag up her sex straightaway, alongside all those classic gender-stereotypical adjectives like ‘sweet’, ‘sultry’, ‘sassy’, ‘angelic’, ‘graceful’, ‘ethereal’ etc. And yet, even if Sinistro had a longhaired beardy dude popping his temple vein with every furious bellow (or indeed no singer at all, as was the case on their 2012 debut), this band would still carry a rare undercurrent of delicacy and grace on their third album. It’s not just the standard light-and-shade dynamism, it’s that Sinistro sound equally at home crafting emotional Floydian ambient textures as uranium-weight riff constellations. Happily, they’re ultra-adept at weaving these elements together with subtlety and taste, while Patricia’s radiant ululations take them to a higher plain altogether.

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.