After reading the bio on 'SAMCA', the independent debut release from Portuguese crossover thrash Metallers Sanctus Nosferatu, from the tiny Azores island of São Miguel, I wasn't sure that I would like it. A female vocalist singing gutturals, the very thought filled me with dread. So many have tried and in my opinion fallen short of the mark, but in this case I need not have worried because had I not read the bio I wouldn't have even guessed that the vocalist was female and that, from me, is the ultimate compliment.
The vocals on this album are singularly amazing. Not only does Camila Morticia sing outstanding gutturals; right at the other end of the vocal scale she also performs the operatic vocals on the album and although I am not fond of that particular vocal style there is no denying her incredible vocal ability.
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Sound wise, Sanctus Nosferatu play an interesting blend of black, death and thrash Metal, and the level of musicianship is equal to the quality of the vocals. Powerful drum work, catchy riffs, all presented in a fast and exciting manner taking the best elements from the genres and unifying them.
All nine tracks on this album are good, a few had less appeal for me because of my lack of interest in operatic vocals, but I imagine they wanted to demonstrate the full range of Camila's exceptional vocal talents. The five tracks without the operatic vocals I thought were excellent and I couldn't fault; 'The Prophecy Of Shackles', fast and blackened, I loved the bass solo midway and the guitar solo near the end. 'Cannibalize Corpse', a catchy mix of spiraling and chugging riffs. 'Darvulia's Apprentice', catchy and soaring with some epic guitar work, 'Impregnated Dark Soul', dark and haunting yet catchy and finally 'Reflection' a guitar led instrumental outro.
As far as debut albums go, 'SAMCA' is an impressive effort and one that really grows on you the more you listen. I will be keeping an eye on Sanctus Nosferatu to see how they develop musically.
'SAMCA' was produced by Sanctus Nosferatu, recorded in Nebur Records Studio (Azores), mixed and mastered by André Tavares (Grog, Seven Stitches) and the artwork is by Martin Fischer (Fear My Thoughts).
If you want to buy a copy contact the band though one of the following links.