Active since 2006 is Brazilian symphonic gothic band Semblant launched their career with the 2008 3 song release Behold the Real Semblant, before catching the attention of Freemind Records in 2009.
In 2010 they released their first full-length disc, Last Night of Mortality, under the Freemind label. The band now featured a dual male/female lead vocal with the addition of singer Mizuho Lin. The band moved to Nueral machine Records in 2011 and is currently releasing music under the label Shinigami recods.
Promoting themselves as one of the first ‘Vampiric Metal’ bands in Brazil, Semblant has gone on to be noticed worldwide.
Their sound is driven by powerful drumming (Thor Sikora) , dual 7 string guitar work (Juliano Ribeiro and Sol Perez) and the vocals of Mizuho Lin and Sergio Mazul.
Rounding out the line up is Joao Victor Peres on bass and J. Augusto on keyboards.
At first it seems as though Semblant features Lin for most of the Vocal work with Mazul only stepping in to handle the growls and more guttural vocal work.
That’s not the case here.
While Mazul does handle the growls and snarls he also shows that he does have a really good voice, and in the dual parts he sings (yes, I said sings. Mazul does not sound as though he is trying to push a tree stump out his ass with his vocals) with Lin the two singers voices blend really well. This is something that a lot of symphonic bands (with dual leads) could stand to copy in my opinion. Not only do they avoid this pitfall, but Semblant also avoids many of the other traps that symphonic bands tend to fall in.
Often symphonic bands tend to overplay, over compose, loose the song for the sake of showing what great musicians they are, create jarring changes and seem to be in a constant battle for the most airtime.
Semblant, (either by design or without realizing) avoids these pitfalls. The songs are well structured, have a good flow and naturally transition from section to section.
You don’t listen to one of their songs and suddenly wonder if you’re listening to a different song, because of a change (or shift) that seems to go in a completely different direction from how the song (or passage) started.
My personal thoughts – While I’m not a huge symphonic metal fan, (largely due to the pitfalls, many of the bands seem to find themselves in, that I listed above) I didn’t mind Semblant’s music at all; and will play the occasional song now that I’ve learned about this band.
Although I find the whole vampire thing a bit of a put off, (god I’m so sick of vampires) Semblant’s development, from their original 2008 release to their 2014 Lunar Manifesto, shows a band that gets stronger with every release and not stuck in a ‘certain sound’ kind of box that causes many bands to fade as quickly as they are discovered.
Live footage of the band does exist, but its generally fair low quality. While it does show that the band can pull off what they record live, some better quality recording would be a great showcase for them; and go a long way to prove that Semblant is not just a studio band.
So, Semblant, Is it Good or Is It Garbage?
As always I’ve leave you with a video to decide for yourself. This song is What Lies Ahead from the 2014 release Lunar Manifesto.
Currently Semblant is still promoting Lunar Manifesto, but you can follow them on Facebook or their Official Website.
Although their website is still undergoing work you can buy Lunar Manifesto on iTunes.