Santa Sangre is the new album from up-and-coming and very raucous post-punk noise rock outfit Japan Suicide. This 11-track album dropped yesterday and is being released by European label Unknown Pleasures Records.
Hailing from Italy, Japan Suicide is a five-piece comprised of Stefano Bellerba (vocals, guitar), Leonardo Mori (synth), Matteo Luciani (bass), Saverio Paiella (guitar), and Daniele Cruccolini (drums). Formed in 2010, they united over their love of Joy Division, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, and Depeche Mode.
The album release follows up the lead track Circle, the lyrics of which were inspired by Dave Eggers’ novel The Circle. The accompanying video was produced and directed by Francesco Brunotti with imagery similar to the film The Wicker Man, such as the procession and the sect, relating to the novel in a different way, transposing hi-tech dystopia into an ancient ritual.
Japan Suicide remains faithful to their influences, which include Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Japan, The Damned, Interpol, Suicide, CSI, CCCP, and Massimo Volume. Their compositions are well-crafted and if you are a fan of The Cure, Interpol, Editors, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Underground Youth or Soviet Soviet, this music would fit nicely in your playlist.
Laden with noise, guitars and chorus effects plus synth, it would seem that Japan Suicide’s music is loaded with melancholy, frustration and fury, and, although it’s intentionally unsettling to listen to so much post-punk in one sitting, this album goes down rather well. Full of drive, standout tracks on this album include Circle, Blown Away, Dealer, For Every Flaw, and Lost Daughter. Here you find outstanding showmanship, giving rise to the idea already city by many in the blogosphere that Italy is a hotbed of post-punk and dark alternative music.
“We have finally produced our new album Santa Sangre, which was inspired by Alejandro Jodorowsky’s movie and Roberto Bolaño’s novel 2666, all the while moving from echoes of British post-punk to a sound replete with more psychedelic and shoegaze textures,” says Stefano Bellerba. “This is a delicate, but necessary step for us: we tried to matchthe quality of our previous album ‘We Die in Such a Place’, while also adding new sounds from our past work in order to achieve a condensed powerful opera and, at the same time, a sound that is capable of achieving different listening levels.”
This album follows up the 2017 single This Be The Verse, released on the Dark Italia compilation Sparkles in the Dark vol.4, alongside The Soft Moon and many other cutting edge artists.
This is not the band’s first release through Unknown Pleasures Records. 2015 brought We Die In Such a Place, which stylistically combines the gloomy atmospheres so beloved by Japan Suicide with more aggressive sounds, followed by their 2016 release of the 1978 EP via Darkitalia.
The band is planning live dates in the U.S. and Mexico in support of this album starting in May 2018. The album is available from Bandcamp here.
1 Santa Sangre
4 El Ritual
5 Blown Away
6 For Every Flaw
9 Thus Bad Begins
10 Lost Daughter
Enjoy the video for Circle video here:
Photography by Luca Sola.
All words via Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop and you can follow him on Twitter as @hiapop, and on Facebook here.