Released: 2012, Maple Metal
It’s funny how the international Metal community works. Sangre Eterna, a Serbian band with a Spanish name gets signed to a small Canadian label. Maple Metal Records out of Toronto is small but seems to have a good ear for talent having picked up Korpius, Nordhiem and now Sangre Eterna.
ASPHYXIA is the quintets second full-length album that features a simple yet effective, eye-catching design. The 11-track album runs for 40 minutes and allegedly has an evolution in sound to more of a melodic Death/thrash sound. I haven’t heard the debut EP from 2008 so I can’t officially comment.
The band recruited a few friends to help out, there is quite a bit of star power who drop by an make an appearance on the album; dudes from Norther, Korpiklaani and a handful more. The production and song-writing maintain a high standard, the album sounds very good.
The songs have a modern feel, maybe hints of Soilwork or perhaps mid-era In Flames (Reroute To Remain etc) with some keyboards and acoustic piano floating through the songs, but there is certainly enough ‘Metal’ to keep the purist in me happy. The overall pace of the album is quite quick but with some variation in speed to keep it diversified. There is an instrumental called ‘Shattered Sun’ which is slower with some decent drumming and a bit of a middle-eastern vibe, with some slower open notes on the guitar that bleeds into the similarly atmospheric cut ‘Lut Gholein’. The vocals are gruff and growly but not too brutal, delivered with the right intensity. ‘Alessa’s Dream’ starts with more of the swirly keyboards before picking up the pace into a driving head-banger of a song.
ASPHYXIA finishes with a bonus track a ‘rock version’ of the song ‘Seventh Angel’ which is significantly different from the other version on the disc. I wonder if this experimentation will lead to another shift in direction or more evolution in the bands sound. I think there is enough talent and innovation in the band that they might never be content to stay in one tight category. Until then ASPHYXIA is very commendable sophomore effort.