OV THE SHELF: Canata Sangui; Or, I Have A Really Long Album Title - Do I Sound Edgy Yet?!?

As with anybody who's taken the time to review music, my shelves are completely full (and my record crate, both) and then some. So I thought, I might as well begin to give some of the odd titles I own a good hard listen - as I've bought into many grab bags from many labels over the years, snagged any cassette or LP I could at a bargain price off Bandcamp, and raided label bargain sections. Some of this stuff isn't even opened after three or four years of ownership, I'm a physical media addict really... or a bargain addict - your choice. There is no doubt some of this stuff is the worst crap ever, or the general opinion is that it is. Some of it nobody has heard, as the bands existed for such a small amount of time as to only release a single 7" with all their money, in which they made their own sleeves out of construction paper and stamped them (yes, I own two 7" EP/Singles that fit that bill). I got some radio-only promos, some stuff I've won in contests. Oh, and a 7" that has a whole albums worth of micro-songs jammed onto it, including a cover! I got a lot of stuff and I'll have even more in the future. So, here is my jokingly titled new way to provide you, the reader, with some more useless information.

I got this particular title from a Season of Mist grab bag, you get 10 CD's for 20 bucks, and it isn't
What on earth is the man on the far right wearing?
that bad a deal for someone looking to be surprised. The junky presentation of this thing really stuck with me though - confusingly and poorly thought out album art, looks rushed to me, thoughtless font, no unique album logo, and that booklet is just terrible with a goofy kids font throughout. I mean, there really isn't a single thing here to draw a person in. You crack the digipack open and things get worse, the CD is a light blue nightmare of plain. No wonder someone stuck the 'Female Fronted All Bass driven!' sticker on there, otherwise I'm not too sure I'd have bothered.

The music, I got to say that it never really reaches the heights or level it could have. Things are far too tame, and far too grounded in the throw-away Gothic Rock trends that were present at the time of it's release (2009). The band's lyrical concepts are the band's complete focus here, which all sound like black metal chants sung in a symphonic-metal fashion. You are pretty much read massive sermons on truly bizarre occult ideals, which should be awesome, but it never pulls you in aside from a few choice moments. I'm not sure the singer has a unique enough presence to properly capture the imagination and interest of someone who is into this content - actually I know she doesn't/didn't. It isn't that she is a bad vocalist, but maybe not the right one for the job. I'm not going to be so nice as to say she did anything interesting here, as most of the songs are the same styled singing with no true highs or lows, just some middle ground standard female vocals. Nothing gets epic, nor operatic, nor intense. In fact, the only real attempt at variety is a utterly embarrassing groaning growly vocal inclusion, which is trying way too hard to be edgy. When not backing the main vocalist, it hilariously falls apart and sounds like a vastly discounted Septic Flesh vocalist.

This photo makes me smile, and this interview at MysticMetal
might give some insight as to the bands disastrous mentality.
Now, the biggest travesty of all - the all-bass on this album really just is yawn worthy. I've covered projects like VOD in the past, I'm well aware of the capabilities of a all-bass project. This band used it's bass to pull off mundane things - generic fill-in-the-note progression, two bass guitars doing same-old bass things, powerchords upon powerchords - I'm sure you get what I mean. It's typical by-the-numbers Gothic Rock, done in a different way to seem unique. But, I ask, what is the point if in the end your just going to make it sound the same as everything else? Especially when all the complicated moments are done via keyboard. More and more keyboard... more and more effects. It's plain, just like the stupid cover design.

I'm not too surprised this band only had a handful of demos and this album. Good news is some did move on, and I'm hoping they've been able to expand further then what they did with 'On Rituals and Correspondence in Constructed Realities.' To me, the best underground bands throw a lot of experimentation into their first album, because the underground is a place for that. But, to throw something so safe and straight forward as this out there? I'm not too sure that was a good idea. It is interesting to see the route Season of Mist took with its picking releases compared to now. It was a much different world for music in 2009, who's to say this didn't feel like a sure thing?

I feel like this was made for some misunderstood high school kid, sitting in the corner and drawing eyes on a notepad all lunch hour. They aren't too different, not really misunderstood, their life doesn't really even suck, but it's boring - this person wants to be unique, but extreme metal is just a bit much for them. So, lets go grab the safest possible thing for them - Canata Sangui, because no one else bought it and now its like $2 at the record store.

Oh, and six members for this!?!?