Labirinto - Divino Afflante Spiritu - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Labirinto - Divino Afflante Spiritu

by Andy Brown Rating:9 Release Date:2019-02-08
Labirinto - Divino Afflante Spiritu
Labirinto - Divino Afflante Spiritu

There’s a storm brewing outside my window and I’m listening to Divino Afflante Spiritu, the new album by São Paulo's Labirinto; the music somehow transforming the Leeds skyline into something altogether more dramatic. Mordor relocated to West Yorkshire. Labirinto’s music has always managed to inspire a little drama, post-rock imbued with a real sense of scale and an appreciation for all things epic.

Divino Afflante Spiritu (translated as ‘Inspired by the Holy Spirit’) finds the band thinking big from the outset. ‘Agnus Dei’ begins with a wash of synths before lunging to some devastatingly heavy guitar work from Kiko Bueno, Luis Naressi and Erick Cruxen. The band's triple guitar assault complimented by Muriel Curi’s typically ferocious drumming.

Add some meaty bass and extra percussion to the mix (courtesy of Hristos Eleutério and Lucas Melo respectively) and you’ve got yourself one hell of an opening statement. If that wasn’t enough, feminist-anarchist-crust punk vocalist Elaine Campos pops-up towards the end to provide some first-class, throat-shredding vocals. It’s the first track in Labirinto’s discography to feature vocals and it’s quite possibly the heaviest thing they’ve ever done.

2016’s Gehenna found the Brazilian outfit at their most metal, fully embracing their heavier tendencies and producing something sonically dense and devastating in the process. Divino Afflante Spiritu continues down this path.

‘Penitência’ greets us with a huge, nigh-on unstoppable, wall of guitars; the relentless cascade reminding me of eco-black metal stalwarts Wolves in the Throne Room. ‘Eleh Ha Devarim’ turns the epic vibes all the way up to 11 before the dark, arrestingly atmospheric ‘Demiurge’ pulls us even further in.

‘Vigília’ serves as a short interlude, 50 seconds of haunted voices that lead straight into the lumbering, somewhat apocalyptic ‘Asherdu’. Divino Afflante Spiritu is an album that seems to get heavier-and-heavier with each track. If the riffs subside for a moment (and it’s rare that they do) you feel like you’re entering the eye of a storm, holding your breath and waiting to be lifted off your feet all over again.

The title track brings things to a close in suitably breath-taking style. The guitars reach near-orchestral levels of epic-ness over 7 heart-racing, spine-tingling, minutes. Bristling with raw energy and carrying an impressive emotional weight; it might just be one of the finest pieces of music they’ve made yet.

The album was made during a difficult time for the band, Cruxen explaining "This album, more than anything, represents for us loss and suffering, but also, passion and friendship". With Divino Afflante Spiritu the band has transformed that suffering into something dark yet powerful and genuinely inspiring.

The sound throughout Divino Afflante Spiritu is deep, ridiculously heavy and thoroughly immersive. Every crunching metal riff, every squeal of feedback and every hard-hitting drum roll successfully amping-up the near Biblical sense of urgency. The ‘storm’ outside turns out to be nothing more than a bit of rain but Divino Afflante Spiritu doesn’t disappoint. Another exceptional album from these sorely underexposed post-rock goliaths.

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