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Sanctifica - Negative B

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Gone are the days of being labeled an Emperor clone.  Sanctifica is now almost impossible to classify.  This is such a drastic style change that I'm positive the band will lose many fans.  However, on the flip side, they will be open to a whole new group of music lovers who would not have touched their previous release. To call them progressive death, black, alternative, electronic, experimental metal would be confusing, somewhat accurate, but still unable to pin down a definite sound.  Upon first listen, I was close to furious anger.  This is so far from the "Spirit of Purity" sound that I adored, that I felt like smashing this album against the wall!  After hearing flutes in the opening song, and then reading in the liner notes of mandolins and hand claps, I wanted to scream out in frustration!  I even have many friends who have now officially dubbed the band "Sanctiflutica".  However, despite my friends and my initial disappointment, I refrained from giving up on the band and listened on.

Now there are still parts in almost every song that I'm not convinced I like.  I still hate the flutes.  I cringe upon hearing the cheesy early-Deadlines horror keyboards in "Stardust, Inc."  I am confused that after their insanely brutal debut that they can have multiple balled-like songs on the same album.  But then again, I think I like it.  In fact, some of it I think I love!  Songs like "Nerve", "Red Alert", and "Confront" thrill me more with every listen.  Even though the band has included many mellow moments into this album, there are still places where they rock hard!  Granted, this is nowhere close to being extreme like "Spirit of Purity", but Sanctifica doesn't completely abandon all their headbanging fans.  This band has created some very original music and it just takes time before you realize that they may be onto something.  As I think of "Spirit of Purity" I want so bad to hate this album.  In fact, when I listen to the albums back to back I get really close to hating it.  I seriously think they should've changed their band name because of the huge style change.  But despite the conflicting feelings, I have just one word - brilliant.  (Review by Matt)

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