Album review: SANGUINE – Black Sheep

SANGUINE - Black Sheep

Odyssey Music [Release date 29.01.16]

This is the second album from UK based alt metal band Sanguine who have appeared at Download and Hard Rock Hell Ibiza. The album was recorded at In Flames’ IF Studio and the band’s guitarist Jesper Stromblad guests on two songs (which he also co-wrote with the band).

Now I am not normally a lover of the screamo vocals and extreme metal, however Sanguine do the sort of metal in those fields that I like, namely they know a decent melody. Take opener, ‘Breaking Out’ which is a fine metal beast with riffs aplenty and the vocals of Tarin Kerrey melding nicely with the screams of Nick Magee.

What also appeals about this band is they get bored of the same musical style and like to experiment. ‘Carousel’ is a fine example of this with its vocal harmonies recalling said fairground carousel in their up and down pitch. The sort of song that would appeal to many and as would ‘Breathe Out’, an atmospheric acoustic song. The vocals of Tarin are very attention grabbing, on this song they sound at times like Kate Bush meets Lizzy Hale of Halestorm.

‘Social Decay’ has an accompanying video and those guitar riffs would seriously strip wallpaper and if they don’t, the vocals will as both vocalists hit the high notes/screams. ‘The Blue’ is very melodic, a complete contrast to the rest of the album. Seems this band can and will do any musical style they see fit and more power to their elbow for this.

Sanguine will surely win over new fans with this album, a fine melting pot of many rock and metal sounds. Takes a few listens to grasp the sounds on offer, persevere as this is an album to keep coming back to. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

We caught up with Tarin (vocals) and Nick (guitar/vocals) to chat about the excellent new album ‘Black Sheep’, the recording of the album and the band’s plans for the rest of the year and beyond. Jason Ritchie asks the Q’s (and found out that he actually likes scream vocals and that Tarin confirmed to him that they don’t ruin your vocal chords!)…

You have just released another video on YouTube, ‘Pretty Girl’. How did the band come to film this in Las Vegas?

Nick: We were over in Ibiza for Hard Rock Hell and we wanted a party vibe for the video, but it wasn’t the right sort of vibe, it was more a beach party. So we ended up shooting a different video for another song, ‘Breathe Out’, out there. We were looking at places and we thought let’s do Vegas.

Tarin: None of us had been there before so we thought we’d make a pilgrimage out of it.

N: It was like filming a road trip. We went to Los Angeles first and we drove up the old Route 66 between LA and Vegas. It was good fun.

Do you find YouTube brings in a lot of interest in the band?

T: We’ve always wanted to travel and that comes across in the music.

N: We are very anxious to keep out of our own comfort zone. We have to break the cycle, raise the bar and keep the energy up in the band all the time.

The album is out the end of this month and it is a very strong album. When you are writing songs do you have a set idea in your head or do you see where the song takes you?

T: We like the fact we can write any type of song, we don’t restrict ourselves to any particular style. Sanguine always has to be heavy, always has to be cool. That is requisite for any song we do/

N: It is more like a reflection of mood. In a week you will feel happy sometimes, other times you will feel like well angry (chuckles).

T: We’d get bored writing the same type of song. You’ll never get a Sanguine album with thirteen songs repeating the same style, I can promise you that!

N: That is like out pet hate of bands, who have that one single and you know then repeat it throughout the rest of their album. It is almost offensive, a bit disrespectful to your fanbase. We take care in writing each of our songs.

I was reading up that you started off as a prog rock band. How did the more metal, heavier side come in?

T: Well I was made about Tool and their music. When I started the project I was really interested to see if we could make a female fronted prog rock band. That was the idea behind but when we got the member s of the band it didn’t turn out that way due to the natural musical tastes of the band. We all into more heavy music, we are more straight edge and less into time changes in our music. We had an idea what we wanted to sound like.

This album you recorded with Jesper Stromblad and in the In Flames studio. How did you hook up with him?

N: That was through our manager who was working on a different project and he passed our first album to Jesper. He really liked the songs and we started to work with him. It is amazing how far that first album, which was really just demos, reached worldwide. It was kind of weird it made it into the hands of one my favourite guitarists and he then said lets write some songs together.

He co-wrote on two songs on the album, ‘Empathy’ where he plays the main riff and on ‘Breathe Out’, he played the EBow solo. We recorded for a days over in Sweden and then came back to the UK to work some more on the album.

You have Daniel Flores producing the album, another name musician in the metal scene.

T: Amazing to work with him. He is an amazing drummer and fantastic with his ideas. It was good to have someone who is a musician and a producer. It shines through on the album, especially the Swedish influence as they understand metal.

N: He is also drummer in Murder Of My Sweet, a great female fronted metal band. He really tuned into us. When you are writing you are in your own little bubble and when you come out of that bubble you’re not sure what people will think. You may have created a load of poop (laughs).When you get that kind of validation from people like Jesper, Daniel and Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden), it is just crazy. You never expected that to happen to a little old band from Devon.

You have the Iron Maiden connection as well there as you mentioned; does it help being known and liked by you musical peers?

T: It helps as we were blown away by the attention and I never expected to work with and have our music liked by Adrian Smith, amazing.

N: I didn’t do anything, I just sat and watched Tarin work. It was insane to be doing that. We were invited to his recording studios. Tarin was picked ahead of some name female vocalists, I won’t say who they were. It was an amazing experience.

With the album out soon, what sort of tour plans are you lining up for this year?

T: We are booking dates now, with lots of live shows planned.

N: We are looking at quite a lot actually. We have festivals and tours, in UK, Europe and Japan. We are getting the structure there, the teams in place in various countries ready to promote the tours.

T: We have a few more videos to come so watch this space.

Message for your fans…

N: Thank you so much for your unbelievable support and we will be out on tour soon.

The album ‘Black Sheep’ is released on 29th January 2016 and tour dates, with more YouTube videos, to follow later this year.

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