Anima Nera (Sanguine)
By: Vinnie Apicella
If you were to take what is commonly known as "emo" rock music, put sandpaper to its skin and chafe the hell out of it, the resulting sound and reaction is something like "Sanguine." At first hear, a tune like "Open End" is a raging punk tune that's weighted by the dirty denim style of Monster Magnet and tenacity of Unsane. Billed as yet another uncommon thread in the Rock fabric that's all been stained and torn by every conceivable label, Harmful's style is a definite cross up to the fashionably fair prototypes flooding Modern Rock radio and late night video channels. "Charmed" is a slightly slowed, writhing tune that bemoans a loss and breaks away; "No Matter" is more grit and grunge, the churning guitar coming away as off tune and entirely too strong for comfortable level of amplification. "Overfed" is an immediate hit single were there still such a thing for an unknown group five albums in from Europe who sound like Mudhoney, Monster Magnet, and The Meat Puppets. It begins innocently enough then barrels into a barrage of feed and fuzz ala ancient Sonic Youth or The Melvins. "Custom Gold" begins much the same way only with a less navigable route at the onset coming off almost disturbing in tone, then unleashing yet another reverberated fury. Vocalist Aren Emirze is a close approximation to singers like Wyndorf and Cornell, a combination of high register potency and painful plodding as the condition calls for. Heavy hooks, grooves, and grinding effects lend a refreshing air to distinguishable tunes fed by vexing vocals and surprisingly storybook lyrics. Combined with competitive retro flair, new school mentality, and a teen-jerker front and back cover, and you end up with the latest album from the Frankfurt trio setting up among the more dynamic Rock records on this year's depth chart.
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