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Il Sangue : Reprieve

The modern death/doom genre is amidst growing fatigue. Despite the overwhelming amount of quality within this area of music, originality, innovativeness and creativity is sparse amongst newer acts. With a few notable exceptions, almost all bands sound all too similar to one another, and even more akin to the 'big three' fore fathers of the genre. However, from time to time, an exception does emerge. They still retain a majority of the beloved characteristics of the genre, but forge new, creative and innovative additives, that often give them a slight edge over most other bands. And I can confidently say Il Sangue is one of these exceptions.

Perhaps this American (although Il Sangue is now a full band with 5 members) did not do this intentionally. Perhaps I am being overly optimistic. But whatever it is, there is a definite unique feel to the music on this demo that sets this band apart from their peers. And what I pin this down to is the tremendous atmosphere ever-present in the music...but do not fear, this does not mean that 'Reprieve' is dripping with keyboards, violins and female sopranos...no, it’s much less deliberate (and far more original) than that. Somehow, the raw, under-production of this CD-R moulds with the songs and instruments (just a few guitars and drums) to create a devastating mood almost accidentally, and it’s a terribly haunting mood of dread, torment and sorrow.

Il Sangue's first demo 'Prophecy of Doom' still featured this atmosphere and feel, but not to such great extents, and the music on that release is a little less unique (though still reasonably original), and more traditional death/doom. However, with the tortured, piercing guitars, brooding, intense delivery, wretched, pained, almost black-metallish shrieks, acoustic guitar interludes and even the occasional woeful, non-over-the-top yet harmonious and pleasant singing (which appears briefly on the 17-minute masterpiece 'A Final Embrace (The Pallbearer)') as well as some faint tortured groans, 'Reprieve', the bands second works, just has that little bit more to it. It is also slightly more melodic and melancholic and sorrowful, with 'Prophecy...' providing more of a sickening, malevolent assault.

Either way, Il Sangue are certainly onto something here, and should have an extremely promising future ahead of them within the doom scene, still being so young and unheard of. So, if you’re a fan of unique, original death/doom, then I wholeheartedly suggest you check this band out and give them a listen, because this demo, 26 grim minutes of doom drudgery with only occasional moments of speed-uppage, certainly has a distinct, fantastic edge to it.

You can learn more about Il Sangue and order 'Reprieve' and other of their works by contacting neillaperriere@cs.com, or by heading over to www.theorderofsangue.tk.

[edit by admin.: The website is dead and, unfortuenately, I can't find any new ones.]

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Reprieve
2. A Final Embrace (The Pallbearer)

Duration : Approx. 26 minutes

Visit the Il Sangue bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Stephen Burrell
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