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Santo Rostro : The Healer

With this third album, Santo Rostro really hit their psychedelic-infused stride.

Santo Rostro bring us their third album, shorter in terms of the number of tracks but maybe playing more into the band's strengths - Stoner/Doom Metal you will find embedded into the core of their music. These Spanish rockers pull no punches from the very first track. Since 2013 the band has shown progression on each release, and this is a major step up. They are one of the best bands out of Spain right now and have already shared the stage with Saint Vitus. The feel of the album is emotional anguish. How we pick ourselves up after traumatic circumstances. Some may never recover.

'One Small Victory' is first up. A great first song full of pace and diversity. Vocals are clean and precise but not at the forefront of the music. Antonio Gámez still has that forceful texture to his vocals and they have plenty of character and depth. It's a catchy little tune and gets you into the mood for the rest of the album. Production is excellent and the guitar takes centre stage with twin harmonies floating in and out at the right moments to just add that bit of polish. Great headbanger to start with. It has a great live feel to it.

'Cut My Hand' is over 11 minutes of heaven. Because they play at a good pace, I was wondering if they could keep the listener interested for that amount of time. The riffs again pound away and I find myself hooked again. It's a massive step up from their previous albums. When the song slows it's heavy with weight and attitude. Black in nature, the quiet melodies explore darkness and Doom. They have started to roam into a more psychedelic vibe, I feel like getting a few crosses and burning them whilst the lead guitar goes meandering somewhere before the sledgehammer of distortion descends again. I'm enjoying the tone of the guitar. It has that fuzzy texture to it but still carries power and energy so even the simplest power chords feel heavy as fuck.

'Born Again' is another tasty track. A deathly dark opening riff follows on from a more melodic passage. The drums are fantastic and really keep the pace of each track. The vocals really stand out in this song for me. It never slows from start to finish. This is sandwiched between two long tracks.

'The Healer' has an eerie beginning. Clean electric builds and organ sounds add atmosphere and warmth. It's almost spiritual in feel with chanting and mournful passages. You're just waiting for it to explode. I can't fault the mix or mastering at all. It's perfect for the band and they have got it spot on. Once again we are taken on a psychedelic trip midway through the song. This song just gets bigger and bigger.

Last song up is 'Hylonome'. Antonio again blasts his lungs out over pulsating riffs. This is a little faster in pace, Opeth-like in some parts in the twin harmonies of guitar. I can hardly call it the weakest track as it still has great variation throughout.

I'm mightily impressed by Santo Rostro. They have exploded onto the scene with a rawness and attitude that really bites you in the ass. Superb release, and another highlight of 2017.

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Reviewer's rating: 9/10


Tracklist :
1. One Small Victory
2. Cut My Hand
3. Born Again
4. The Healer
5. Hylonome

Duration : Approx. 37 minutes

Visit the Santo Rostro bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-04-25 by Riccardo Veronese
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