Galician metal force Sartegos drop long-awaited first album with punchy ‘O Sangue da Noite’

Sometimes things take time to come to fruition. In some cases, it can take a really long period of time to see something from its roots to becoming a fully grown, totally realized idea that is ready to make its way into the world. That long period of seasoning and maturity is the cost and the difference between putting out something half-assed vs. work you’re proud to display to the greater population.

That’s all a lofty, wordy way to say that it took like 11 years for Sartegos to release debut record “O Sangue da Noite,” and that’s OK because the album is a mind fucker that feels like it’s stitched together by elements of 30 years ago as well as today. That’s part of what makes this such a fascinating listen in the first place, as sole member Rou Morgade mixes a supply of riffs that practically have to be sailed in on a fleet of ships as well as some flesh-tingling synth that makes it feel like these are made for some early 1980s sci-fi flicks that veer to the terrifying side. The wondrous touch this Galician musician puts on this music elevates above mere black and death metal, giving it a sense of adventure in the darkest order, which constantly loops back and reminds you it’s watching you.

“Ventos (Prelúdio)” is a quick intro cut that has winds blowing and synth sounding like something from a videogame I would play in my high school years, and then it’s on to “Sangue e Noite” that tears the lid off with killer riffs, boiling rage, and grim spirits that barrel into you. A group-style chorus pushes hard before it’s back to hellish splattering, weird chants, and a charred conclusion. “Lajes em Tormento e Decadência” has the riffs circling while the bass charges up, and the drumming pelts the flesh. Vicious growls strike as the burly bassline slithers underneath the surface, while an eerie pace is achieved that feels ominous. Some clean calls bustle while the guitars achieve a night-time vibe that ends the song in a chill. “Solpor dos Mistérios” has guitars fluttering in the atmosphere as harsh growls push in just ahead of a melodic wave. The vocals turn raspy and forceful leading to a premature finish (Morgade does this often on this record) before the song returns and ends in diabolical manner. “Jugular (Interlúdio)” is a quick track built by winds calling again and strange synth that leaves an alien feeling in your blood.

“Arqueiro” blasts open and crushes wholly, with vicious growls mixing with odd whispers that feel ghostly. The pace grinds and smashes while the riffs catch fire and fill the room with smoke, as synth slips in and provides relief. The guitars splinter from there before going cold and hypnotic, bringing a jarring end. “As Devesas som dos Lobos” starts with cold trickling before growls burst through and the riffs begin to chew into muscle. Speedy playing then strikes, setting a new pace, and bellowed calls and icy playing remind a bit of Celtic Frost. We have one of those premature endings where the song returns and hits a slow, slurry tempo that aims to suffocate. “Baphomet no Rashulmat” rips open and immediately destroys, as gurgling growls and fast guitars team up to dominate. The vocals then turn chant-like as the leads play mind games, leading to a scorching finish. “Poço e Serpe” blows up right away as the riffs disorient, and monstrous growls launch an attack. The rest of the way, it’s still hard to keep your footing as the music creates dizziness, and the song later restarts as a firebreathing mammoth stomping away. “Águas Negras (Final)” in a quick instrumental finish that has water trickling, keys plinking, and then synth creating fogs that remind me of a score from a movie MST3K would dice up.

It’s not like we’ve been bereft of Sartegos material, as Morgade has put out two demos, an EP, and two splits along the way, but we’re finally finding out what this artist can do with a full-length. “O Sangue da Noite” is a record that grabs your attention right away and keeps it over 10 tracks and nearly 42 minutes. It might have taken 11 years for us to finally get an LP-length release from Sartegos, but from the power of this thing, it’s safe to say the wait was worth it and completely sensible.

For more on the band, go here:

To buy the album (vinyl), go here:

Or here (CD):

For more on the label, go here:

And here:

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