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Sanctus Nosferatu - "Samca" (CD)

Sanctus Nosferatu - "Samca" CD cover image

"Samca" track listing:

1. Astarteia
2. Spiritus Magnus
3. The Prophecy of Shackles
4. Cannibalize Corpse
5. Darvulia's Apprentice
6. Impregnated Dark Soul
7. Nosferatu Jihad
8. Revelation
9. Reflection

Reviewed by on April 5, 2012

"This nine-track album doesn't disappoint in the least, sounding as if the band took its time in the studio to release this well-produced album."

I was first introduced to Sanctus Nosferatu via a couple of its singles streaming before the release of their debut album, "Samca." The two songs I did hear, "Astarteia" and "Revelation," were a splendid aural assault. So, I eagerly anticipated listening to "Samca" in full. This nine-track album doesn't disappoint in the least, sounding as if the band took its time in the studio to release this well-produced album.

Starting off with the beautiful pummeling of the single "Astarteia," it is hard to believe this is Sanctus Nosferatu's first actual album. These musicians sound like they have had plenty of experience working as a unit. This track is expertly executed with fluid time changes and inhuman drumming that keeps the song spinning into a motion of fury. The fast fretwork at the end concludes at least five different time changes in the song, making it a riveting tune.

Besides having a really good drummer, Sanctus Nosferatu has an incredibly versatile female singer in the form of Camila Morticia, who can shift from her usually gruff sepulchral style to very angelic clean singing. In "Nosferatu Jihad" and other songs, she mostly channels a demonic edge like Angela Gossow, but winds down from the chaos into nice acoustic segments, where she utilizes her soprano pipes.

While Sanctus Nosferatu's sound usually has more in common with black metal than with death metal, only a couple of the songs - especially "Impregnated Dark Soul" - stick to a more frenetic black metal pace. This song goes from a stampede of symphonic leads before descending into nice lulls of slower rhythm. This rhythm section interplays well on "Darvulia's Apprentice," a song that gains its momentum through a bed of bass leads, rhythm guitar and drum blasts at the beginning. When the leads come in, they sound all the better with that rhythm melody.

There are songs like "Spiritus Magnus" that gain a living quality of motion through crucial placement of guitar leads and others that use more acoustic sounding guitar leads like "Cannibalize Corpse." The latter utilizes acoustic leads in the beginning and end to create a mood. For the most part, though, Sanctus Nosferatu stick to the blackened end of the spectrum and don't let up much on the energy, making songs like "The Prophecy of Shackles" a fast hellride.

Besides an oddly placed acoustic outro, the only discernible flaw on "Samca" would be the need for a bit more distinction on its songs as a whole. Other than that, "Samca" is a high energy outing of nicely executed black/death metal. These musicians know their craft and singer Camila Morticia really is both a demon and an angel.

Highs: Good musicians bolstered by a captivating female vocalist

Lows: While very high octane, some of the songs could use a bit more distinction

Bottom line: Ferocious energy from a new band to watch out for.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)