Dawn Of A New Sun, Sol Negro‘s third album, also sees the light of day in digital format after being released last year only in cassette and limited edition. Frankly, I don’t know how many people still have the opportunity to listen to music on such a medium, and beyond the vintage charm that the possession of such an object produced in our days may hold, the limitation regarding the distribution and dissemination of the music produced remains undeniable. To be welcomed then, the initiative taken by Chaos Records with the publication of a work of certain value in the most popular CD format, moreover enclosed within a rather neat booklet. Sol Negro are basically the creature of Mexican musician José Luis “Sangreth” Rodriguez, who for several years now has been residing in Seattle, a city that the younger ones identify with the grunge phenomenon and the older ones with the place that gave birth to a certain Jimi Hendrix; none of this goes to affect in any way the sound offered in Dawn Of A New Sun, which instead proves to be an interesting mix of the various extreme genres, showing nuances ranging from the proto black of Venom to doom, even going so far as to cover a historic song by Paradise Lost. A full length recorded to end up on a cassette tape cannot be, already on the level of intent, something that points all on cleanliness or refinement of sounds and, in fact, Sol Negro deliver us a raw, linear, hopelessly outdated but damn fascinating work. Sangreth’s voice is a hoarse wheeze that may not be the best in expressiveness but is well suited to sounds that retain that patina of genuineness capable of overshadowing the small imperfections scattered here and there in the work; the intensity, the evocative force with almost ancestral characters that Sol Negro‘s music emanates go far beyond these purely formal considerations. If No Fear To Die holds true to its “Manowarian” title by showing the more epic face of the band , the ungainly rhythm of 9th Conjuration brings back to Nineties sounds with a guitar that weaves truly engaging melodic lines; Nuclear Sentinel is the most black-oriented track of the lot, while the concluding Where Flies The Raven at times recalls our own The Black, due to the timbre of the bass and lead guitar. The cover of Dead Emotions (for the record, Dead Emotion on Gothic tracklist) is quite adherent to the original version and is a fitting homage to Paradise Lost, one of the bands that marked a musical style by pointing the way to countless followers. Sol Negro, in the final analysis, show that they don’t care about fashions by carrying on with due calm (the pace of a full-length every five years can hardly be called frenetic) a musical discourse strongly rooted in the origins of extreme metal; some may brand it as a nostalgic operation or a sneaky way of making up for any technical or compositional deficiencies: I see in all this, however, only passion and artistic integrity, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s enough to call Dawn Of A New Sun an excellent record that the less trendy fringe of fans should definitely not miss.
2012 – Headsplit Records