Release date: November 24th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD
They Sell Conflict
Cock Will Burn
Under The Wheels Of The Juggernaut
Fractal And Shapeless
Jonas - Vocals and Bass
Elias - Guitar
Ola - Guitar
Pontus - Drums
Signo Rojo was a band I was not expecting to hear from. So imagine my surprise and delight when the band announced they released a new album Svårfödd and sent a copy to review. An early Xmas Present for myself. As these guys was one of the very first bands to ever send me a promo to review when I started The Sludgelord back in 2011.
This album was meant to be released years ago but is now finally seeing the light of day now. Signo Rojo have endured an extremely tough time recording and releasing this album. Illness, personal issues and the folding of not one but two record labels that were meant to release this album.
Now Signo Rojo is finally here to proclaim their rightful place as one of the best upcoming bands from the infamous Swedish Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal scene. Their new album - Svårfödd - is an intense blast of Sludge/Post-Metal grooves merged with modern sounding Doom/Stoner Metal riffs. Sure the album may sound very similar to Baroness and Mastodon at times. Signo Rojo has managed to create an album that sounds remarkably frank and fresh in parts.
The opening three songs They Sell Conflict, Dead Horse and Holyman sees the band blast their way through a modern sounding progressive style of Sludge/Post-Metal riffs with harsh vocals to match. Baroness/Mastodon soundscapes are perhaps a direct influence but the band still manage to create an addictive and even slightly depressive doom metal atmosphere. The mixture of thrash based sounds and easy-going Sludge/Stoner Rock riffs have the right amount of passion and aggression to keep listeners entertained from the start.
Other songs on the album - Underminer, Under The Wheels Of The Juggernaut, Lockjaw and the brilliantly epic Fractal And Shapeless all show the hidden turmoil the band went through with the making the album. The lyrics and vocals are quite angry and heartfelt on different parts of the album. Signo Rojo do experiment and play with their sound on the album as they bring in elements of Post-Rock and Psychedelic Rock which allows their sound to be more expansive and even heavier in parts.
If you miss the good old days when Baroness/Mastodon were a primarily Sludge Metal band weren't focused more on their commercial aspects of their music then I recommend you give Signo Rojo a try. As these guys have the earlier classic sound of those two great bands but move it along a more Doomier and Psychedelic direction.
Signo Rojo are currently hard at work in releasing a new EP next year and I don't know if the guys will sound the same or moved onto something different altogether. Until then I recommend you immerse yourself with Signo Rojo's triumphant new album. As this is an exciting album that will hopefully put Signo Rojo back on the right path to greatness after so many difficult setbacks. They deserve every success coming their way with this record.
Excellent and Highly Recommended.
Words by Steve Howe