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Catacombe - Scintilla CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.00 | 1 ratings

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3 stars "Scintilla" is the name of the 3rd full length studio release from the band Catacombe, an Experimental/Post Metal band from Portugal founded in 2007 by Pedro Sobast. Pedro started out as the sole musician in this band and released an EP in 2008, but 2 years later, he had established a full band, and they released their first album.

Scintilla was released in June of 2019, and according to the band, it is their first album "in a way". The reason for this is their claim that it is a change of direction for their overall sound. The album is made up of 8 tracks and has a total run time of 45 minutes. The band line-up is made up of the same 4 members as their previous album released 5 years ago: Pedro Sobast (guitars), Filipe Ferreira (guitar), Gil Cerqueira (bass), and Pedro Melo Alves (drums). The album is available on vinyl, CD and steaming/download on Bandcamp. The album is instrumental except for one track.

"Carrossel" starts off the album with percussion and soft shimmering guitars. Soon, the guitars play and support each other around a theme, the music remaining on the soft side, but slowly gaining volume as it continues. The drums get a bit more frantic, then there is a sudden increase in heaviness as the guitars get grungier. Before 4 minutes, things calm and begin to build again. The sound intensifies again with a fuzzy guitar playing the theme and a more jangly guitar supporting. The sound is somewhere between a post rock and post metal sound, not quite landing on either one but staying somewhere in the middle. "Esquizo" goes for a more driving rhythm and a progressive riff that splits the meter into uneven and alternating time signatures. It all evens out eventually and calms down a bit. At 4 minutes, there is a more solid feel as the drums harden and the guitars get slowly heavier, but it all soon ends.

"Sparkles" is a softer track with a shimmering guitar playing the main theme, evoking a feeling that reflects the track name. Later, contrasting guitar patterns work together to strengthen the sound. "Reverie" begins with atmospheric pitches and soft percussion. The rhythm kicks in with a moderately fast tempo as the guitars play their contrasting lines come together and break apart as the drums pound along pushing for a build. Instead of reaching a climax however, it all shuts down after 3 minutes and becomes pensive. The drums start to slowly come back again and work to get another build going. Things get a little darker at 5 minutes and the drums become more frantic. Within that minute, a heavy layer push towards a post metal feel and the music quickly churns along much louder now.

"Alvor" features vocals and lyrics by guest Melissa Veras. It begins heavy and moderately slow and her wordless vocals cut through the noise. Things quiet down and the lyrics start. The vocals are a bit hesitant and follow along with the flow of the music. The singing doesn't last very long though. Soon, another instrumental build starts, but continues along without any real payoff except for repeating guitar passages, but the heaviness returns at 4 minutes, and then mellows out again, but the guitars just meander on. "Balada" pushes toward a more doom metal feel with some softer sections that build back to the heaviness again that is similar to "Pelican". The rhythm is more progressive sounding on this one and the dynamics move to extreme soft to loud a few times through the track. There are some strange, broken up sounding cymbal rolls during the last part of the track.

"Arruda" has an up beat feel to it, not quite as dark as the previous track. It starts off soft, but soon becomes heavier as fuzzier guitars come in, but the beat is at least more uptempo. It mellows out again but the drums frantically try to get it all to build back, but it fades out instead with the percussion still tapping around crazily. "Faux Pas" ends the album with the guitars softly playing repeating passages and the percussion still following along wildly. The drums finally back off a bit and establish a moderately slow beat and the guitars begin to build.

The music on this album falls somewhere between the typical post-rock and post-metal styles, probably leaning more to the softer side of it, but occasionally getting quite heavy. The formula of building from soft flowing music to heavy walls of sound is what is followed more than anything, the same basic formula of post rock bands. There isn't anything groundbreaking here, it's pretty much what you have heard before, but it is done well enough. It's just heavy post rock without no real improvement on the same tried and true formula. In the end, nothing really stands out, but the performances are good, so it's a basic 3-star album.

TCat | 3/5 |


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