I have a long and fumbled history of interpreting and listening to death metal en Español thanks partly to my obsession with Spanish and Mexican old school death metal from bands like Avulsed, Canker, Mortuary and Transmetal in my 20’s. In fact you can still read an old list I’d written documenting Transmetal and poorly translating themes and song-titles from years ago. Sol de Sangre is made up of death metal fanatics all originally based out of Medellin, Colombia who’ve spread themselves across the globe since but kept their love of old school death metal alive. Though the members live worlds apart they’ve kep the spirit of their influences in tact through this project as it echoes classic pre-‘Roots’ Sepultura as much as it does early 90’s death and thrash metal throughout.
Firing up ‘Sol De Sangre’ up for the first time shouldn’t have you thinking of Napalm Death or Entombed immediately, though, as their sound is more immediately representative of post-‘Arise’ and ‘Chaos A.D.’ death metal bands from Brazil and Spain with hints of groove metal and death/thrash permeating most of the composition. The first record that comes to mind is Nopresion‘s ‘Sobre Fosas y Vampiros’ for it’s thrash metal spirit and some groove metal influences that stop just short of the early Skinlab-esque moments found occasionally on ‘Sol De Sangre’ such as the title track. Most of the album takes on a style closer to Transmetal‘s long overlooked ‘Cronicas del Dolor’ with hints of thrash above classic death metal with occasional nods to ‘Left Hand Path’ and Morbid Angel alike.
As the album progresses there are several attempts to jump outside of a typical death/thrash sound that aren’t entirely cohesive with the bulk of the album’s sound. It leads to some minor confusion within the album’s overall flow but creates a greater feeling of diversity. The best example of this is probably “Ratas” which is an excellent ode to Swedish death metal amidst some Slayer-ish moments that doesn’t necessarily gel with the songs bumped up against it. Likewise the title track “Sol De Sangre” itself feels like more of a tribute to heavier late 90’s groove metal shoved through death metal instrumentation rather than the raw death/thrash noise before and after it.
I don’t think I really picked up on what Sol de Sangre were all about until I hit upon their cover of very obscure thrash 7″ single ‘Bienvenida Muerte Bienvenida’ from Lluvia Negra and between listening to that single and then returning to their sound I understood a bit more about where they were coming from. In some ways I think that the mixing (Tomas Skogsberg) and mastering (Joel Grind) missed the mark in representing the thrash metal chaos of the band and focused too much on the down-tuned death metal guitar work. None of this hurts how relentless and oppressive the album feels, though and there is a brutal harshness to the production that is appropriately modern. At 50 minutes there is -just- enough variation to keep me interested throughout and the outro is a nice way to roll out; Editing out “Purgatorio” as well as “Sin Ley y Sin Dios” would have clipped off the excess and kept things succinct but the tracks themselves aren’t offensive. Recommended, though keep in mind you’ll get nearly as much groove riffing as you will death metal throughout.
|Released||March 23, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp!||Follow Sol De Sangre on Facebook|
|Genres||Death Metal, Thrash/Groove Metal|
Velocidad, desecho y metal. 3.5/5.0
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