A review can invariably be diminished to the point of whether you should buy the album in question or not. Everything else associated with the text is fluff and linguistic narcissism in most cases; I for one have been guilty of this from time to time. Sometimes this fluff will transcend baggage, though and provide entertainment where merely knowledge was sought. This review will, however, will take a more straightforward and informative approach which will hopefully be quite accessible and ultimately useful; for SANGARA does not require a great deal of dressing to sell. “Symphony Of Evil” is a rip-roaring Metal album which features a couple of guitarists who know how the hell to handle their instruments and are not afraid to create massive riffs which are catchy as hell and downright aggressive at times. If you love your guitar-work to be consistent and lethal then SANGARA aims to please.
SANGARA seemed to have mastered aggressive riffing married to melodic solos/leads which are found in copious amounts. This potent combination not only sustains the outfit’s sound but defines it. Alexei Shkapov highlights the sophisticated compositions by throwing in a fierce yet emotional solo when you least expect it. This stellar facet can be recognized as immediately as the opener sheds its skin and embraces technicality at . It is also mandatory to check out the multi-part solo in the second half of the title track which is vicious as hell. Moments like this continually pop up and provide immediate gratification. It also seems as though both Shkapov and Feoktistov (Rhythm Guitar) have an immeasurably large collection of riffs on which they build each song and never run out. This consistent proclamation of quality is what establishes “Symphony Of Evil” and makes its presence known.
If the excellent guitar-work and unrelenting riffage is what defines SANGARA, then the formidable duo of Anton Shaidetsky on drums and Dmitry Plotnikov handling bass and vocal duties are the icing on the cake. Shaidetsky is spot-on never missing a beat or opportunity to provide an interesting fill. He may not be the most innovative drummer to hit the Metal scene but he surely adds a touch of finesse to the band’s overall sound. Plotnikov rages behind the bass as well as mic and is able to come up with a handful of interesting bass-lines, albeit ones which are difficult to depict. Behind the mic Plotnikov boasts a great range and strong voice which is capable of projecting a spectrum of emotion upon the listener. Unfortunately it seems as though he is satisfied with a melodic delivery that hinges on this somber air of oppression. The vocals are not bad in this regard but they do seem at odd with the furious style of the riffs. The guitars will be pumping out devastating galloping riff after riff when Plotnikov will interject sustaining a high note with a voice that just seems to burst with grief. When he adopts that aggressive style found only in the beginning of “One” I believe he finds his niche for the album but fails to adequately address that. This overall is a minor gripe but does detract a bit from the compositions themselves, which is completely the opposite purpose of vocals in the first place. I do find myself enjoying the Russian lyrics though; they give the music this esoteric feel which only adds to the overall effect.
The technical ability and excellent compositional skills have surely been brought to the table for “Symphony Of Evil”. The band is able to lay down furious slabs of traditional Metal interwoven with spiteful solos and neck-breaking time changes. The album includes quick and furious pieces as well as more melodic and laid-back compositions and in this way is sure to satisfy all to some degree. This album is surely worth your time as it provides above average head-bangable compositions and is only a small step away from being a truly great album. Perhaps that step can be taken with SANGARA’s next effort.