If you’re looking for a different female fronted metal band to your typical symphonic metal bands, then you should definitely take a chance on Sanguine. Sanguine originate from Exeter, Devon and they’re another great example of how great the south coast’s metal scene is. The band released their sophomore effort, Black Sheep, at the end of January shows that they’re a band with a lot of potential.
Black Sheep is driven by a grungy, Alice in Chains style 90s post-rock with a nu-metal, Soil esque twist and soft, ballad edges and they start off the album with the ferocious, “Breaking Out.” The track shows off lead vocalist, Tarrin Kerrey’s fierce vocals and her amazing range while also letting the listener know what to expect from the rest of the album which is just straight up, in your face metal. There’s no fancy, intricate riffing going on, it’s just simple chord progression but the fast tempo gives the song a real oomph and the power chords add real power to the music to it. Kerrey often shares vocals with guitarist, Nick Magee such as in “Pretty Girl” which adds more heaviness and a metal edge to the songs. “Empty” has a more nu-metal vibe and the style is also reminiscent of Lacuna Coil’s earlier stuff. Additionally, the song has cheesy but relatable lyrics as is the same with the majority of lyrics on the record. Don’t expect any deeply inspiring lyrics here.
Sanguine prove on their second album that they’re a dynamic band and are willing to experiment with different styles. Both ‘Carousel’ and ‘Breathe Out’ are more slow paced songs and have a ballad feel to them. Carousel is a song that sees the band utilizing more complex harmonies and song structure with the main melody mirroring old carousel music. Furthermore, the lyrics and music together present the more emotive side of the band. Breathe Out is a standard rock ballad with beautiful acoustic guitar and Kerrey’s voice which usually has strength and heaviness to it, is soft and tranquil at times.
The album finishes completely differently to how it began with another slower number, “The Blue,” whose raw emotion gives the song real impact. The best thing about Black Sheep is the different range of styles that appear across the album. Because Sanguine are constantly changing it up you’re always engaged and wanting to go onto listen because you’ll never get bored of hearing the same sound. There are two major flaws with the album, however. Firstly that it feels a bit too short, I would have liked to have heard material from the band. Lastly the actual production is a bit sketchy and the sound could be better at times. Overall though, it’s a decent album. Again, Sanguine are a band with a lot of potential but they need to refine their style and work on their production before they can real break out.
1. Breaking Out
2. Pretty Girl
4. Save me
6. Breathe Out
7. Black Sheep
8. Social Decay
9. The Blue
10. Whole World
Play time: 37:00
Release date: 29th January 2016
Record Label: Red Rock Productions