This is a nice surprise! A new Vidres A La Sang came my way, and I wasn’t even prepared for these Catalans’ return… What a nice surprise, as I said…
You probably know that Vidres A La Sang were one of the most influential bands from Catalonia during the first decade of this century. Named after an excerpt from a poem compilation by Miquel Martí I Pol (some of the lyrics are based on this poet’s works, for your information), this band released three highly acclaimed albums in between their existence of 2002-2010: their self-called debut (originally an independent release and re-issued via Xtreem Music shortly after), Endins (Xtreem Music) and Som (via, indeed, Xtreem Music). But then, out of the blue, the band disbanded. Why? Why? Why?
…does not matter. Great was my excitement when Blood Fire Death (hail Bathory!) did send me Set De Sang, which seemed to be a new Vidres A La Sang epos. Indeed, original members Eloi Boucherie (vocals and guitars), Marcos Garcia (bass guitars) and Albert Martí (guitars) decided to reform their original band, and with newly recruited drummer Jordi Farré (known from bands like Cruciamentum, Sheidim, Ered and several more), they recorded this fourth full length album at Eloi’s The Farm Of Sounds Recording Studio. The result was eventually mixed and mastered at the famous Moontower Studio by no one else by Javi Félez (think: Decapitated Christ, Nominon, Morbid Flesh, Ataraxy, Barbarian Swords and hundreds of others). Fifty minutes is what we get, divided into seven cuts, available on both compact disc and vinyl (and digital, I guess).
And hey, Vidres A La Sang surprise as from the very first notes of this newest recording! In an uncompromising way, the quartet does what they were known for before: playing intense, energetic and overwhelming Death / Black Metal with attention for melody, epicism and atmosphere. I’ll explain this. When it comes to the melodic aspect, this band is able to create a perfect balance in between ravishing guitar lines and still being overpowering. With surgical precision, these compositions sound organic and faultless, and still maintaining that malicious energy. The strings are totally like a massive wall, with duelling guitar lines, some staccato riffs, hypnotic leads and fierce soloing. But the whole rhythm section strengthens both the power, as well as the craftsmanship (an example: Emergiré, with its grandiose solo, fine twin leads and heavy bass lines). Besides, that rhythm section (rhythm guitars, basses and drums) are at least as inspirational as any leading aspect. This, of course, has to do with the great production too – but I’ll come back to this immediately. Like many Catalonian bands, there is that epic element too – no, not in a Viking-alike way (which is rather common in the Galician scene, for example), but I am referring to that persuaded, convinced attitude within their play – something the band injected in their former album, Som, too. Oh, that sublime Heavy Metal feeling… I just feel the pride, the professionalism, the conviction within each single hymn on Set De Sang. This ability to write and perform superb Metal results in an atmosphere that is both malignant and emotional (!). The well-thought technical structures define a bravery more intense than ever before, while the mesmerising sphere-setting explains the members’ honest and joyful involvement.
A short comment on the sound: fabulous! The production is full, fat and forceful, yet without that over-produced clinical sound. Okay, Mr. Félez was the one behind the knobs at the mixing table, but he did transcend himself this time, I think. It is such a pleasure to notice that all ingredients have been proportioned equally – leads and rhythm guitars, bass lines and drum patterns, and both the deep growling grunts and the few harmonious vocals (yes, and I can’t even dislike it at all) are proportionally balanced.
Oh, I can imagine that everybody must be glad that this band resurrected from oblivion. With Set De Sang, Vidres A La Sang go further where they ended almost a decade ago, but for sure into an ever-increasing direction. What follows next isn’t but a subjective statement, but to my opinion, this album (and hey, I like all former efforts too!) is by far the best this band did so far. I hope we do not have to wait such a long time anymore to experience any next effort!