Sangre de Muerdago – Deixademe Morrer no Bosque

GD30OBH5.pdfHailing from Galicia and active since at least 2007, Sangre de Muerdago first stepped out of the blackberry brambles and honeysuckle tangles and into my awareness when Wisconsin’s Brave Mysteries reissued their self-titled debut on cassette last year. Enraptured by their grounded, feral, and passionate take on the dark folk established by Ulver‘s Kveldssanger and Empyrium‘s Where At Night The Wood Grouse Plays, Sangre de Muerdago became a permanent fixture in my car’s cassette player for months at a time. To illustrate how much I loved this album: It’s difficult to imagine myself journeying through the rain, solitude, and despondency of last autumn and winter without being wrapped in the warm, beautiful, and utterly human songs of this album. Sangre de Muerdago is one of those rare bands with the ability to sift through and abandon everything non-essential in music until what’s left is a fragile nest of hair, feathers, and dried twigs, holding something vital and bright and precious that can’t be explained.

Released at the end of last year, and more recently this year as a DLP and cassette, Deixademe Morrer no Bosque (translated as: Let Me Die In The Forest) is Sangre de Muerdago‘s second offering to the wilderness within and without, and I feel gratitude to say that it still carries that glowing ember against the rain.

At the surface, things haven’t greatly changed from the self-titled album; simple yet powerful songs woven together by finger-picked arpeggios, violin and flute melodies, rare and tasteful samples, and passionately sung vocals. There is some more experimentation with whispered and hissed vocals, a hurdy-gurdy, and some sparse percussion here and there, but they’ve been folded so naturally into Sangre de Muerdago‘s sound that it’s hard to imagine the self-titled was instrumentally more spare. Similar moods are explored as well, meandering through melancholy, triumph, loss, and youthful excitement, sometimes all in the same song. Sangre de Muerdago aren’t perfect musicians, and this is readily apparent with an overall rough and imperfect approach to everything they do. This isn’t an instance of merely sloppy playing or a contrived atmosphere though; trust me when I say that there’s something so tangibly (but indescribably) genuine about their songs that listening to Deixademe Morrer no Bosque gives me a sense of almost knowing the individuals behind it.

The process of reviewing Deixademe Morrer no Bosque has taken me a long time, long enough that it’s likely to be old news for many by now, but I’m glad that I spent the time necessary with it. More so than Sangre de Muerdago, Deixademe Morrer no Bosque is an album that welcomes the listener to sink deeply into the soundworld it offers, simple though it is. It can’t really be known by the lense of analysis, this is music to be felt.

Deixademe Morrer no Bosque is wrapped in a certain melancholy and sadness, but it’s neither dramatic nor despairing. Rather, it comes across as a sullen but couraeous acknowledgement of those feelings. And an acknowledgement is more than an admission; it’s an expression of gratitude; a healing experience. It’s the sound of a band with dirt under their fingernails, mud between their toes, fallen leaves tangled in their rainsoaked hair, both a lamentation and defiant celebration of the experience of life in a time of ruin and contraction. It’s a secret whispered between lovers huddled around a fire, a solitary walk through abandoned fields overrun with gnarled apple trees and deer-bed depressions in the grass, the smell of a cedar swamp, a myth spoken in the trills of winter wrens flitting between verdant ferns and rotten logs. -Jake

Pesanta Urfolk / Heathen Harvest / Self-released / Wohrt Records

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~ by jakemoran on October 23, 2013.

2 Responses to “Sangre de Muerdago – Deixademe Morrer no Bosque”

  1. Jake, thank you for this lovely and thoughtful review. Your last two paragraphs, especially, pretty much nailed the emotion behind the music for us. At the fundamental roots of the album lies man’s ancient connection to nature and our eventual and unfortunate betrayal of it in our current era. I’m sure Pablo & Co. can speak for themselves in regards to the literal meaning behind the music, but that very sincere stance in defense of that archaic natural spirit is what led us to choose SdM as our first physical release.

    Thanks again.

    -Sage

  2. Gratitudes for the charitable words, Sage. I appreciate the effort from you (and Pesanta) to release music with such deep and genuine intention.

    Jake

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