Sanguine- Sanguine (2012)

Band: Sanguine

Album: Sanguine

Release: 2012

Genre: Alternative/Metal

When you think of Exeter, the first thing to pop into your mind is probably either posh University students or farmers and apple scrumpy. Roaring alternative metal is not one of them, and yet it is in the heart of Exeter that a metal monster is stirring. Sanguine, formed indeed during vocalist Tarin Kerrey’s time at Exeter University, have at last recorded and put together a long awaited debut album. The self-titled record is a tour-de-force; a mixed arsenal of musical ammunition that showcases their varied points of influence and versatile musical abilities seamlessly. Complete with their 2009 Live Consume Drive EP, and a remix, ‘Sanguine’ brings us thirteen tracks of unadulterated metal, ranging from angry, thrashy aural assaults to trippy, almost gothic tinged songs that make a nod to their grungey, progressive roots. Opening with previous single ‘For Love’, the track brilliantly sums up the band- a mix of Tarin’s trademark harsh ‘banshee’ vocals and her melodic clean singing, ‘For Love’ is full of catchy and melodic riffs and switches between a swooping, anthemic chorus and a rougher, harsher verse. It’s clear from the first track that Sanguine are a band that are not easily labelled as one genre or another. From here, they move through ‘Anger Song’, ‘Contagious’ and ‘Don’t Change’, three angry, yet still melodic offerings full of chugging guitars and interesting vocals by Tarin and guitarist Nick Magee. These are all good-quality driving songs that make you want to get off your feet and just go somewhere. Mention must be made of bassist Tom Sherwood and drummer Matt Feld, who both add an indispensable edge to the Sanguine mix. The next track is ‘Bangkok Nights’, an absolutely bonkers but brilliant slice of thrashy, rap-metal, alternative metal- punk genius. The main chorus is a frenetic duet between Nick and Tarin, with a middle eight that sees Tarin playing a Thai ladyboy prostitute and crooning to the listener that she’ll ‘love you long time’. At times reminiscent of Otep Shamaya, this is a fantastically energetic song. From here we go into more toned down, melodically charged territory, with ‘In The Sky’, the longest track on the album and a fantastic, upbeat and quirky metal song that injects a little piano during the melodic outtro. The anthemic chorus is a perfect example of their versatility, and this versatility is further showcased in ‘Given Up’, the track that also happens to be the first single from the album. There is wonderful, melodic hook throughout the entirety of the song, and another clean vocal from Tarin. The chours manages to be catchy and relatively upbeat, despite the lyrical content. This song is definitely one of the more approachable for the general populace on the album, so it’s easy to see why this was chosen as the leading single of the album as a whole. This melodic turn is continued on ‘A Place That You Call Home’, which has an almost psychedelic quality to it. Reminiscent of both the gothic rock of Evanescence and more recent Within Temptation and the psychedelic grunge of Soundgarden, this is a beautifully atmospheric track with haunting vocal and guitar lines and truly shows off the talents of this band as musicians and song writers. It’s a track where everything is toned down, and is in stark contrast to much of the music that has come before it. Rounding off the album are the three tracks from their 2009 EP, Live Consume Drive, Simplify and Territory, as well as an interesting industrial-rock remix of Contagious that sounds a little like ‘With Teeth’ era Nine Inch Nails and adds yet another flavour to the Sanguine mix. This is a fantastically put together album, which gives Sanguine the chance to truly show off to the best of their ability and really prove themselves in the current metal market. I honestly don’t think there is a band quite like Sanguine out there at the moment, and they have honed themselves into a ferocious machine of alt-metal magic. This is a stellar offering from a band that will, in a matter of time, be huge.

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