Brazilian Metal juggernaut, Semblant unveil their highly anticipated album, ‘Vermilion Eclipse’ as released on April 15th, 2022. Their fourth overall release, this album sees the band further their evolutionary stride into an unstoppable musical force that is hard to pin onto one genre. With a wide range of influences under the Metal and Rock categories, Semblant present themselves once more as being wholly unique, yet entirely familiar.
Semblant was formed in 2006, in Curitiba, Brazil when singer Sergio Mazul and keyboardist J. Augusto joined forced to create music that featured aggression and darkness from all the elements they appreciated and adored. After a few years, and a few line-up changes, the group established itself with the addition of Mizuho Lin (female vocals), Juliano Ribeiro (guitar), Welyntom “Thor” Sikora (drums), and Johann Piper (bass) to the band.
After the previous release of ‘Obscura’ (2020), Semblant began to flex their musical prowess and show the world that they are more than ready to take up the stage in a larger spotlight. Having already received international praise from the Metal community with the release of their album ‘Lunar Manifesto’ (2014), with popular tracks like “What Lies Ahead”, “Dark of the Day”, and “Incinerate” combining more than 30 million views on YouTube, ‘Obscura’ came into the fray to allow the band to display the massive step forward they had taken in both sound and presence. Tracks like “Mere Shadow”, “Murder of Crows”, and “Dethrone the Gods, Control the Masters” are only a handful of examples on how much this band has matured musically in both performance and songwriting.
‘Vermilion Eclipse’ is the product of Semblant’s lockdown. With Obscura’s touring opportunity being put on indefinite hold, they harnessed their pent-up energy and emotion, pouring it into their songwriting and performance abilities to once more show the progression this band is committed to.
The first track off the album is titled “Enrage” and saw its debut alongside a music video on YouTube that has already amassed more than 400k in views in just over a month. This track features high-octane guitars and monstrous drums that command attention the moment it’s introduced. Combative vocals between Mizuho, and Sergio provide a frightening contrast that upholds emotion and intensity throughout this track’s length with astounding highs and vicious growls to be witnessed and admired. It’s our introduction into Semblant’s return from the ashes of the pandemic, and it’s one hell of an event to bare witness to as this song provides not only a steady melody but, instrumental showcasing that once more displays the growth Semblant is committed to in their creations.
“Purified” was the first single from Vermilion Eclipse that debuted over on YouTube more than 2 months ago and has almost gathered 500k views in that short length of time. The electronic keys to start amplifying the backing fantasy of this album, while a heavily charmed guitar strum brings us through to a chilling message, “there’s no Heaven”. It’s more on the soft rock side, keeping the Metal steady but, choosing to focus on vocal power and ballad flow rather than hammering us with drums and shreds, allowing listeners to focus on another aspect of Semblant’s progression, through its songwriting.
The fifth track, “Somber Concern” comes in heavy, with a head-banging beat that gets you up and moving almost immediately. It’s a strong track that demands movement but, doesn’t make you commit to full-throttle, neck-breaking motions in its entirety, allowing its gentle moments to wash over you for an instant calm. One of my favourites from this album, I appreciate the display of musical contrasts with the low growling vocals, delicate highs, steady drums, and fluid bass that are displayed in this track that grant us the ability to truly appreciate Semblant’s constant push forward.
“Neverending Fall” is a cascade of beauty and emotional expression beautifully articulated in brilliant guitars and strong keys. Vocal command on this track is outstanding with both showing their range and strength relentlessly from rumbling lows to lengthened high notes. I’m adoring the bit of electronics in each intro that adds a new layer of power to each track before it truly begins. This track is no different, with Sergio’s intro upon the sci-fi like backing almost like a Commander preparing his army as the rise and fall of the melody picks at your soul. An easy favourite, this track combines vicious guitars with soaring vocals to make it one of the most stand-out tracks on the entire album.
Tracks like “Through the Denial” hold intensity and passion in the musical power they display with an unyielding barrage of grinding guitars and glass-shattering drums that are hard to compete with; while songs like “Black Sun Genesis (Legacy of Blood, Pt. VI)” go a somber, more relaxed route with vocals taking the reigns and a solid beat locking in the smooth melody.
“Bloodred Monarch (Legacy of Blood, Pt. VII)” comes in with razor-sharp edging, bashing us into a wall with ferocious, speedy-driven drumming and maddening deep vocals. The let up is brief, as vocals climb, matched by strong guitar strings that once more lead into a barrage of wicked drumming. It’s a unique track with perfect layering of highs, lows, intensity and calm to create a chaotic atmosphere and keep listeners on their toes from end to end.
The final track, also the longest on the album at nearly 10-minutes in length, is “Day One Oblivion”. It comes in somber, and gentle, with Mizuho’s vocals coming down from the clouds to show us more of her skillful range. Gentle keys keep pace, building an eeriness yet somehow providing peace with every pause. The peace doesn’t last, of course, with an absolute bombshell coming in with spine-tingling guitars and battering drums that immediately up the energy. This track is like a story all its own, with reflection, battle, resolve, and closure performed in perfect musical interludes.
In closing, this album is one that’s meant to be listened to from end to end. While individual tracks have their appeal, upon a full listening, you truly come to appreciate the depth and majesty that Semblant has created with their dedication to moving forward and learning. Not only do they display musical growth in this album but, in their beautiful songwriting as well. No musician is left behind on this album, with care being taken to showcase each of their abilities on multiple tracks so that we can truly witness the power that is Semblant.
You can snag your own copy of ‘Vermilion Eclipse’ here.
Favourite Tracks: Somber Concern, Neverending Fall, Bloodred Monarch (The Blood Legacy, Pt. VII).