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SANGRE DE MUERDAGO

Prog Folk • Spain


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Sangre De Muerdago picture
Sangre De Muerdago biography
Formed: 2007 (Galicia, Spain)
Status as of June 2019: Active

SANGRE DE MUERDAGO is a project of Galician musician and lyricist Pablo C. Ursusson, whose background includes involvement in the Spanish punk scene of the 1990s and whose non-musical portfolio encompasses sculpture and painting. The idea for the forest folk group germinated in 2005 through a joint session with Brazilian Jorge Olson de Abreu, and in 2007 the group was baptized with its mystical name that translates to Blood of the Mistletoe.

De Abreu died suddenly in 2009 shortly after laying down his parts for the very first album, but his spirit has remained an inspiration through 5 full length albums. The music of Sangre is a melancholic yet hopeful sounding blend of instrumentals and songs sung in Galician, and in the sometimes politically dodgy world of neo folk, they have been recognized on a website dedicated to anti fascist neofolk.

Recommended to fans of sensitive ethereal folk music such as Italy's CORDE OBLIQUE
and Galician folkies MILLADOIRO, SANGRE DE MUERDAGO deserves its place in progarchives for its contributions to the more progressive ambitions of the neofolk genre.

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NoiteNoite
Sick Man Getting Sick Records 2018
$18.94
Little Red Fox Said...Little Red Fox Said...
NEUROPA 2017
$128.00
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SANGRE DE MUERDAGO discography


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SANGRE DE MUERDAGO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Sangre De Muerdago
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
Deixademe Morrer No Bosque
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
O Camiņo Das Mans Valeiras
2015
3.95 | 2 ratings
Noite
2018

SANGRE DE MUERDAGO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SANGRE DE MUERDAGO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SANGRE DE MUERDAGO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Lembranzas Dende O Lado Salvaxe
2015

SANGRE DE MUERDAGO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
demo
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Nas Fragas Do R?o Eume
2014
3.00 | 1 ratings
Os Segredos Da Raposa Vermella
2017
4.00 | 1 ratings
Vagalumes
2018

SANGRE DE MUERDAGO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Vagalumes by SANGRE DE MUERDAGO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2018
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Vagalumes
Sangre De Muerdago Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars This brief and lovely diversion in the discography of Galician project SANGRE DE MUERDAGO is performed by its visionary Pablo Ursusson alone, mostly on a variety of fretted instruments as well as accordion and what sounds like vibraphone. It non-verbally recounts the story of a firefly whose pursuer, a snake, only wants to kill it because it cannot bear to see it shine another moment. Night-appropriate sounds of the forest are also imparted. "Vagalumes" is at its best when relatively animated, at least by SANGRE standards, particularly in parts of "A Serpe e o Lucecu" and throughout the almost whimsical "Fervenza". Given Ursusson's passion for the natural world, this fable set to music is a logical creation and further evidence of his ability to illuminate our way as we accompany him on his journey.
 Noite by SANGRE DE MUERDAGO album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.95 | 2 ratings

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Noite
Sangre De Muerdago Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars The latest full length release of SANGRE DE MUERDAGO as of this writing is probably their most polished, with more multilayered vocal harmonies that impart a devotional character, and noteworthy guest contributions on Celtic harp and flute. Whereas previous albums utilized occasional tin whistle and recorder, the prevalence of flute on the best tracks is no coincidence, it's sensual gravitas infusing these numbers that a scrawny whistle could barely pierce.

Still, gentility rules in Pablo Ursusson's world, the general uniformity building strength with each advancing track, initiated by a the sweetly melancholic instrumental "Medianoite" (Midnight) and attaining its apex on "Longue Noite de Pedra" with its real and simulated nature effects; a lullabye-like melody; and transformative flute figure; and "A Danza Das Ánimas", masterful in its own right, but with an official video I recommend you seek out.

With Ursusson hitting all the pan Celtic erogenous zones up to that point, the last 5 numbers include 3 hurdy gurdy-heavy pieces that, while fine in their own right, break the hypnotic spell like a duck's foot trying to extinguish a fire. The effect is of a more exclusive club of hurdy gurdy fanciers than I think I would want to join, if in fact they would have me.

11th hour alterations notwithstanding, "Noite" comes highly recommended as music for any time of night (or day) that invites contemplation.

 Os Segredos Da Raposa Vermella by SANGRE DE MUERDAGO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2017
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Os Segredos Da Raposa Vermella
Sangre De Muerdago Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars This 4 track instrumental EP by Galician Pablo Ursusson's project fills the 3 year gap between full length releases while also occupying a distinct niche from previous offerings. Translated to "Secrets of the Red Fox", 3 of its 4 tracks are ruled by the hurdy-gurdy, giving this a much more tradition feel. Combining the drone of the bagpipe and the, well, drone of the accordion, the hurdy gurdy is an acquired taste. These two characteristics limit the appeal to prog audiences outside of those who enjoy ethnic folk music with few progressive touches. Still, Ursusson's hurdy gurdy is well supported by bodhran and other percussion, which apparently he also plays, and the tempos are varied. The finale is a flute dominated closer "An Dro" ( a type of Breton dance) that breaks the spell like the caress of a cool breeze, added violins intermingling to perfection.
 O Camiņo Das Mans Valeiras by SANGRE DE MUERDAGO album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 1 ratings

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O Camiņo Das Mans Valeiras
Sangre De Muerdago Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars For their third full length release, SANGRE DE MUERDAGO resume their new found confidence resulting from several successful ventures in the preceding year. One of the main improvements was and still remains a bolder production and mix, from the vocals on down. Much like Italian neo folk contemporaries CORDE OBLIQUE, they specialize in gentle melodies driven by voice, acoustic guitar, strings and occasional more eclectic instrumentation. While Corde Oblique is said to be inspired by the ancient visual arts of Italy, SANGRE seems more nature focused; regardless, the effect is one of deep devotion in both cases, and of being in the presence of a spiritual link to not only their past but our shared pre-histories.

Pablo Ursusson remains the central figure and continues to shoulder most of the vocal duties but Emma Skemp takes on shared lead as well as atmospheric non verbal accompaniment, with spine tingling effect on "Xordas" (which translates to "deaf"), the title cut, and "Mensaxeiros Do Pasado". She also adds flute and drums. Georg Barner augments the male harmonies while playing the Swedish nyckelharpa, viola, and hammered dulcimer, and Bubu retains classical guitar duties, so this feels more like a band than ever before. "O Conxura" picks up the pace from its languid origins to a more vivacious flute led section, perhaps conveying the underlying "joie de vivre" inherent in this type of production. It's not so much a singing from the rooftops for others to hear as an unsung salve for the soul.

it's clear that SANGRE DE MUERDAGO is taking the long road and gathering followers as they convey themselves upon it, always taking time to savor where they were, where they might be going and most importantly, where they are now.

 Lembranzas Dende O Lado Salvaxe by SANGRE DE MUERDAGO album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2015
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Lembranzas Dende O Lado Salvaxe
Sangre De Muerdago Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars 2015 was a very busy year for Pablo Ursusson and Galician neo folk group SANGRE DE MUERDAGO. They issued a combined release with American kindred spirits NOVEMTHREE called "Braided Paths" to which they contributed 4 tracks; released a two track EP "Nas fragas do Río Eume"; contributed a hitherto unreleased number for a neo folk compilation called "Places"; and were no doubt busying themselves preparing for their 2015 full length release. This compilation gathers all 7 of these tracks and adds in a "bonus" cut to sweeten their clay pot.

In spite of its scattered origins, this is a cohesive work that could serve as an introduction to the group as well as to a newer more accessible and much more succinct sound and style. It is here that comparisons to a similarly prolific Italian group CORDE OBLIQUE become unavoidable. The heartfelt plucking on classical guitar, plaintive strings and neo classical meets folk melodies all approach the mood and timbre of Ricardo Principe's ethereal folk project.

Three numbers eclipse almost everything they had hitherto performed. "A Xustiza Pola Man" is divine, constructing and deconstructing a Celtic melody in vertiginous fashion, with subtle accompanying vocal harmonies. "O Cabalo Negro" recycles a blueprint from earlier albums but with more self assurance and with an energy that was previously in short supply. Even the recorder (or whistle) solo that forms the coda seems to have undergone productive therapy sessions, for it knows itself. The closer "O Canto dos Busgosos" was previously unreleased in any form, and is really a departure for the group, yet well within the parameters of their anarchic structure. It's an instrumental in the Galician tradition in which the violins morph into their more down-home cousins. I'm not sure how distinguished this reckless instrumental would sound surrounded by others of its ilk but here the effect is magical and a brilliant way to close the album, as it dances its way off the stage in a flourish of creativity. In between, the other pieces are all excellent, even the hurdy gurdy dominated "As Sendas de Monfero", which is whisked along by mesmerized strummed guitars that offer a base for the traditional instrument to drone on and on and on as drones do.

The album title translates to "Souvenirs From The Wild Side", reflecting the band's connection to the natural beauty of their homeland and the varied lineage of its contents. Otherwise it's far more mild than wild, but no less potent. 4.5 stars.

 Deixademe Morrer No Bosque by SANGRE DE MUERDAGO album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Deixademe Morrer No Bosque
Sangre De Muerdago Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars With so many neo folk artists marshaling limited resources in the service of a sole release, and with SANGRE DE MUERDAGO losing a pivotal partner almost out of the gate, one might have expected their history to end with their self titled debut, but they returned a couple of years later with the sprawling "Deixademe Morrer No Bosque". Translated to "Let me Die in the Woods", it is a uniformly melancholic work, equal parts acoustic and classical guitars, with vocal, string and whistle accents. The pace and mood is resigned, almost as though the resolutions are preordained and Pablo and friends are playing them out because that is all they know. One other thing they know is beauty - beauty of nature, and the beauty of a spirit that owes everything to those forces, and is aware of it in every state of being, be it of this world or beyond.

The opener and closer are somewhat atypical, with the title cut deploying a hurdy gurdy, an instrument that can attain stridency if need be, but here played as the last standing entity on a battlefield, with appropriate awe. The coda is one of the few comparatively upbeat pieces, reminiscent of the more heavily strummed numbers on the debut. In between, a couple of tracks are sung in English, one by Pablo and one by guest Lisa Kula, and these can't help but offer variety and perhaps the intent of imparting a message more broadly, even if the mood and enunciation remain as in a spell or trance. "Soterrados Baixo as Pedras" notches slightly above the others in resonating with my own inner voice, but other listeners will experience this personal work differently at different times.

The level of consistency here allows the hour to pass by as a single sweet caress or emptying/sharing of consciousness, or as an impenetrable impediment to one's daily progress in between birth and death, a problem that its shorter predecessor did not have to ponder. I'm in the first camp and, given the band's international success in a commercially restricted genre, it would seem I'm far from alone.

 Sangre De Muerdago by SANGRE DE MUERDAGO album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Sangre De Muerdago
Sangre De Muerdago Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars Before SANGRE DE MUERDAGO could begin to record their first proper album, Jorge Olsen de Abreu had passed away tragically, but he did not take his inspiration with him, as it infuses this and each subsequent work by Pablo and company. Like the demo recording in which he participated, this full length debut is almost entirely acoustic, but more instrumentation, specifically wistful violins and whistles, are integrated into the intoxicating blend of guitars, as well as vocals on over half the tracks.

The general mood is deliberate and melancholic, with a sense of beauty throughout. "Vellos camiņos de vellas ārbores" is a standout, a brilliant introduction to Pablo as lead vocalist. It is reminiscent of early OLOFERNE, mystical and calling upon the forces and wisdom of nature, which ties back to the owl on the cover, and Pablo sings as though in a trance conjured to achieve the desired communion. Owls have been associated with witchcraft in Galician folklore. With "Arrastrando as cadeas", the repetitive almost minimalist approach remains, but the urgency and animation is cranked up with furious strumming, while the use of winds conjures New World styles, perhaps guided more by the absent hand of Brazilian Jorge. While "Onde as almas van a morrer" rekindles the more morose mood, it is enriched from the conjoined vocals of Pablo and Teresa and more whistles. "Madeira de teixo, pedra de castro" strikes a balance between the preceding vocal tracks, a captivating amalgamation of insistent massed guitars, reverent vocals, and violins.

This is a very mature debut by a seasoned Galician singer/songwriter/musician and guide, with those who have been chosen, or perhaps felt compelled, to accompany him.

 demo by SANGRE DE MUERDAGO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2007
3.00 | 1 ratings

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demo
Sangre De Muerdago Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars In the 1970s, prog bands, if they were "lucky", were afforded the luxury of recording budgets while tethered by the same entities that dangled that benefit. In the 2000s, most prog bands, especially those who tilt the folk axis, are shackled by day jobs and other such inconveniences, and in this era of self production and promotion, it's sometimes challenging to draw a distinction between a "demo" and a "release", as both are virtual constructs. In the case of the Galician dark forest folk group SANGRE DE MUERDAGO (translated to "Blood of the Mistletoe"), their demo is the only known recording with Brazilian Jorge Olsson de Abreu joining Pablo C. Ursusson for a night of wine and wine driven playing.

Sadly, Jorge died in 2009 before the debut album proper could be recorded, but he remains an inspiration. With Jorge actually a corporeal participant, this inaugural collaboration is somewhat atypical, being more focused on hypnotic strumming and picking, with subtle improvisational shifts and leads. Entirely acoustic as with most of what the band has released, it is raw and unfiltered by rehearsal time or production trivialities. Hence an ambulance siren is one of the first instruments to appear and intensify. Recording device or incidental interruption? It remains that "Solpor" is the creepiest and most captivating (think TENHI) of the three instrumental tracks which offer an imperfect glimpse into an as yet incomplete future.

Thanks to kenethlevine for the artist addition.

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