Sangus – Saevitia Review

Originally written by Jordan Campbell

If you’re an upstart metal band in 2014 and you aren’t putting your music on Bandcamp, you ain’t getting heard. Simply put, if you’re cranking out demos–which don’t really exist anymore–or initial releases in strictly physical form, you’re fucking up.

(And that’s semi-okay if you’re a band; fucking up is part of life. But if you’re a small label and you’re shirking the digital wonderland, not only are you severely dicking over your roster, but your business is going to fail.)

Why? Because you probably aren’t doing anything special yet. You’re starting to find your legs and carve an identity (hopefully) within a subgenre, but you aren’t doing anything to separate yourselves from the pack. Also, the economics aren’t in your favor. There’s no demand for your music. None. Metal bands outnumber abandoned pit bulls six-to-one.

So your market is flooded. Your target demographic? Less than affluent. What are you going to do? Force curious parties to shell out five to ten bucks on a hunk of shoddily-produced plastic that’s going to get ripped to a hard drive and eventually thrown into the ocean? Or are you going to make your wares as accessible as possible to like-minded individuals?

Intelligently, Sangus has taken the latter route.

Following two demos, this latest EP from the Rhode Island blackthrashers is their burliest manifestation yet. There’s a tough balance to strike in blackened thrash. Too many reedy riffs and blasts, you lose the punch. Too much heft, and you just end up sounding like Sodom. But Sangus brings serious weight to their viseral, Desaster-bred madness without losing a shred of savagery.

Saevitia stands out from the band’s previous work by slathering itself in a prounounced coating of crust, a gunked-up blend of the freewheeling fuckrock of mid-period Anti Cimex and the steroidal modernism of Young and in the Way. “Nati da Vulcani” has cockswagger for days, yet the followup, “Stega,” puts its horns down and barrels forward with furious rancor. (Translation being: They’re the best breed of metal band. No matter how seriously they present themselves, at their core, it’s still fun first, business second.)

But…now we’re back to that problem of demand. There aren’t a ton of blackened thrash bands out there, but the handful of bands that do it admirably basically have it on lockdown. And crust-injected blackness feels like it’s everywhere right now. So what makes these guys ready to make the leap? What is the intangible badassery within Ithat threatens to take Sangus to the next level, professionalism willing?

Fuck, I don’t know. Spend ten minutes and four bucks and find out for yourself.

Posted by Old Guard

The retired elite of LastRites/MetalReview.

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