The first full-length from this band was released on May 23rd, 2019. The album is self-titled and released under the label Underground Symphony Records.
Sangreal is an international project by internationally known performers.
They themselves title their music as epic metal , “… that connects metal to the sacred of the ancient scriptures, religious themes, legends, mysticism and esotericism, an epic journey between legends and history. “ Sangreal is another name of the Holy Grail, according to some legends, the drinking vessel used at the Last Supper. Different traditions describe it as a cup, dish or stone with miraculous powers that provide happiness, eternal youth or sustenance in infinite abundance.
Gabriele Grilli – Vocals
Jahn Carlini – Guitars
Francesco Russo – Guitars
Alessandro Battini – Keyboards
Paris Lambrou – Bass
Matti Auerkallio – Drums
The band is the brainchild of the guitar player Jahn Carlini, (Great Master) the line-up is composed by well-known metal artists like: Gabriele Grilli on vocals (ex-Doomsword), Alessandro Battini (Dark Horizon, Ghost City) on keyboards, Francesco Russo (ex-Shadows Of Steel) on the guitar, the Cypriot bass player Paris Lambrou (ex-Arrayan Path, Astronomikon) and the Finnish multi-instrumentalist Matti Auerkallio (Ultimatium, Katra) on drums. The full length is mixed by Daniele Mandelli (Dark Horizon, Forgotten Tomb, Adramelch) and mastered by Simone Mularoni.
The lyrics of the songs are covering a range of different topics, some songs create fantasy-tinged landscapes, telling us tales of old legends like “Ring of Shemoloh” and “Quest of the Holy Grail”, others are taking us thru Biblical themes with songs like: “Vision and Life”, “I Am That I Am”, “Martyr” and “The Prophet”. If you like an journey between legends and history presented in progressive power metal and symphonic tunes, this is a album worth giving a good time listening to.
1. Samaritan – The parable of the Good Samaritan is a parable told by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke, Gospel of Luke 10,25-37. It is about a traveller who is stripped of clothing, beaten, and left half dead alongside the road. First a priest and then a Levite comes by, but both avoid the man. Finally, a Samaritan happens upon the traveller. Samaritans and Jews despised each other, but the Samaritan helps the injured man. Jesus is described as telling the parable in response to the question from a lawyer, “And who is my neighbour?”. In response, Jesus tells the parable, the conclusion of which is that the neighbour figure in the parable is the man who shows mercy to the injured man—that is, the Samaritan.
2. The Prophet – “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4,5-6
3. Anime Prave – In the 14th century, Dante Alighieri described Charon in his Divine Comedy, drawing from Virgil’s depiction in Aeneid 6. Charon is the first named mythological character Dante meets in the underworld, in Canto III of the Inferno. Dante depicts him as having eyes of fire. Elsewhere, Charon appears as a mean-spirited and gaunt old man or as a winged demon wielding a double hammer, although Michelangelo’s interpretation, influenced by Dante’s depiction in the Inferno, shows him with an oar over his shoulder, ready to beat those who delay. Guai a Voi, Anime Prave! Non Isperate mai Veder lo Cielo I’ Vegno per Menarvi a l’altra Riva Ne le Tenebre Etterne, in Caldo e ‘n Gelo. Divine Comedy: Charon vv.84-111
4. Ring of Shemoloh – When a demon named Ornias harasses a young lad (who is favored by Solomon) by stealing half of his pay and sucking out his vitality through the thumb on his right hand, Solomon prays in the temple and receives from the archangel Michael a ring with the seal of God (in the shape of a Pentagram) on it which will enable him to command the demons. Solomon lends the ring to the lad who, by throwing the ring at the demon Ornias, stamps him with the seal and brings him under control. Then Solomon orders the demon Ornias to take the ring and similarly imprint the prince of demons, Beelzebul. With Beelzebul under his command, Solomon now has all of the demons at his bidding to build the temple.
“The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.” King Solomon – Proverbs 4:18-19
5. Vision and Life – The land of Israel has many mountains. The one that comes to mind here is Mount Zion, the site of Jerusalem and the temple. Yahweh “dwells in Zion”, which is Yahweh’s “holy hill of Zion”. It is in this holy place that Yahweh will one day restore Judah. When Ezekiel writes these words, the Jerusalem Temple is still standing, but its days are numbered. Ezekiel, in fact, is prophesying its demise. However, if a grand tree falls, Yahweh has the power to cause a new tree to grow. That is what Yahweh is promising to do with Judah. Yes, Nebuchadnezzar will raze the temple to the ground, but that will not be the end. Yahweh will see to it that the temple is established once again on the holy mountain. The people of God will worship Yahweh there once again. « I the Lord, have spoken and have done it » Ezekiel 17,23-24
6. Martyr – A martyr is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a belief or cause as demanded by an external party. Most martyrs are considered holy or are respected by their followers, becoming symbols of exceptional leadership and heroism in the face of difficult circumstances. Martyrs play significant roles in religions. “The true martyr awaits death. The fanatic runs to meet her.” Denis Diderot
7. I Am That I Am – I am that I am is a common English translation of the Hebrew phraseאֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה, ’ehyeh ’ăšer ’ehyeh ([ʔɛhˈjɛh ʔaˈʃɛr ʔɛhˈjɛh]) – also “I am who I am”, “I am what I am” or “I will be what I will be” or even “I create what(ever) I create”. The traditional English translation within Judaism favors “I will be what I will be” because there is no present tense of the verb “to be” in the Hebrew language …And the Lord Said: “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.” Exodus 6:7
8. The Quest Of The Holy Grail – The Holy Grail is a treasure that serves as an important motif in Arthurian literature. Different traditions describe it as a cup, dish or stone with miraculous powers that provide happiness, eternal youth or sustenance in infinite abundance, often in the custody of the Fisher King. The term “holy grail” is often used to denote an elusive object or goal that is sought after for its great significance “The Quest of the Holy Grail is the search for the secrets of God, unknowable without grace.” Étienne Gilson
9. Arise Today – Ancient Celtic blessing: Celtic literature is rich in images related to nature to describe the relationship between God and man. And the characteristic of Celtic Christianity, introduced by St. Patrick in the fourth century after Christ, was precisely the strong link between the spiritual and the ground.
During the past week I lost count of all the times I listened to it thru. For me this will be one of “the best releases of the year”. Before getting my attention to this album, I never heard of epic metal. Personally I would call it progressive power metal with symphonic tones. Being a fan of German symphonic rock like Avantasia and power metal bands like Helloween, Gammaray, and Masterplan, I find myself very comfortable with the tunes of this album. A similar Christian band would be Diviner.
Play on repeat
Occasionally it happens that a song gets stuck in my head making me play the song on repeat. This album has two of those kind of songs:
“Prophet” that has a geniously composed classical piano combined with guitar riffs I simply fell in love with.
“Vision and Life” I love the topic and I can’t get enough of the chorus, it’s so densely power metal, with the fast and steady drums, guitar riffs, perfect bass composition, and Grilli’s voice.
After all the listenings I can only use one phrase to describe it, Epic Metal. You can buy the album in deluxe digipak edition at White Metal Shop or find it on platforms like Bandcamp or Spotify.