Today (or tonight depending on where you are in the world), the FemMetal van takes us to Western Europe, to the beautiful country of Portugal. CineMuerte is a Portuguese band that has inscribed its name deeply in the stones of Rock times, through the remarkable work they have produced in a long career almost reaching 20 years.
CineMuerte released an album entitled ‘O Refúgio’ last year. We had the pleasure of reviewing the album. We also were honored to interview the vocalist and co-founder of the CineMuerte, Sophia Vieira and ask her about her music, views on certain topics, among other things.
‘O Refúgio’ consists of 10 songs spreading along the course of 49 minutes. The band, describing itself as progressive, has indeed developed a unique sound of their own. The band that simply refers to their genre using the broad term of “Rock” have a unique sound in the album with deliberate speed in the riff and that stresses on quality and loud beats, with ranging vocals following the melody toe to toe.
Here are four things we loved about ‘O Refúgio’.
The drums on the album are very impressive. We loved the beats especially on songs like Until We Say Goodbye, Twenty Five, and The Whisper. This is an album you might want to just sit there and enjoy the drums on. On Me, Myself and I the beat served as a part of a wonderful intro to the song.
Sophia Vieira’s vocals are just wonderful. The range she has and her ability to beautifully deliver and move between low and high notes and how her vocals flow in a way that she makes sound easy, added a new dimension to the album. Every song on ‘O Refúgio’ is a demonstration of how a great vocalist Sophia is. We especially loved her voice on My, Myself and I.
‘Me, Myself and I’
This song stands out among other songs in the album. It is on our opinion the best song on this record. We previously spoke about the brilliant intro, but in fact the whole song is brilliant and one that should be on many Rock playlists. Me, Myself and I has sprinkles of “Golden age” rock with a unique modern flavour and outstanding melodies and beats.
The lyrics on the record are very well-made. Many artists fall in the trap of writing for the sake of ideas. In songs or poems, even if the ideas are great, if they are delivered with that idea prioritized they would seem dead or dull. The lyrics on ‘O Refúgio’ are far from that. They are full of great ideas but they were also written in an artistic matter, in a way that they can be even enjoyed without the music.
These were the four things we loved about ‘O Refúgio’. What we would have loved to hear more of is the sound of the guitars. Yes, there were amazing riffs and great melodies played on the guitars. But on most songs these riffs seemed to be overshadowed by the beats and vocals and in some cases we really needed to focus to catch the riff. Another thing that would have made the album richer is some more production on the tracks. To be fair, every track on ‘O Refúgio’ is a good track. But after listening to the album three times, only two songs stick to my mind. The others, although being really good, have nothing in their production that makes them distinguishable or standing out. A vocalized intro, a spoken intro, or maybe some different instruments than the ones we hear all over the album would have made more songs stand out and stick to the mind.
We recommend ‘O Refúgio’ to all Rock music lovers around the world. Although considered Gothic, CineMuerte would please the mass of Rock and Metal lovers whatever their preferences in terms of sub-genres are. It is a a perfect album to sit back and relax while listening to, but also is very good to be on if you’re working on something and need some background music. Sophia’s crystal clear vocals and the general music on the album can help direct thoughts into certain directions.
Here are the average of the ratings that were placed by the FemMetal Team.
|Cover Art (10%)||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||8/10|
Jad: Hello Sophia. It’s a pleasure to chat with you. How are you and the other CineMuerte members today?
Sophia: Fine, thank you.
Jad: Would you like to tell FemMetal readers a bit about yourself and your band?
Sophia: In biographical terms, we invite readers to visit our Facebook page and follow us. We have our life story there. In metaphysical terms, we are a dust of sound in the universe seeking to awaken your souls with our music.
Jad: Your band was formed in 2002, that’s about 18 years ago. What would you say has changed since then in the music industry in general and Rock music industry in particular?
Sophia: The music industry has always sought to shape people, their tastes, and the truth is that I feel they are pushing rock music away from people. Rock music rarely condones the alienation of individuals. Beyonce can more easily numb people’s critical sense of their surroundings: hunger, war.
Jad: You’re from Lisbon, Portugal. How would you describe the Rock and Metal scenes in Portugal?
Sophia: The music scene in Portugal is in good health. Diverse, full of energy, confident. The media does not help. But it’s the usual fight.
Jad: You released your fourth studio album, ‘O Refúgio’ last year. How are you feeling about the reception this album has received from fans?
Sophia: The media says it’s a great album and maybe the best one to date. When we launched our second album “Aurora Core”, we were told the same thing. So if the experts say that ‘O Refúgio’ is the best record ever, I believe we climbed a level! “Wild Grown” also deserved a bigger investment from Sony, but they just distributed it without promoting it. It felt a waste. It’s a great album that deserves to embrace the world.
Jad: How would you say this latest album differs from your previous releases?
Sophia: This album comes after some personal experiences that none of us had experienced. Darkness, physical and mental deprivation, revelation, love, compassion, inner illumination. A whole panoply of mental colors that materialized in these 10 songs. I believe all these colors are already born within the person. The lived experiences make them stand out.
Jad: Some label your music as Gothic or Alternative Rock. How would you describe your sound and what factors would you say influenced you as a band and person to develop this unique sound?
Sophia: It is the biggest dilemma of all. Categorizing ourselves is quite difficult and I’ve been able to talk to a broadcaster lately. After an hour of debate, the only certainty he had was having none. The issue of musical categorization is a long-lost struggle and a matter we have already packed into a tightly closed drawer. It is important to create. Only that. What influenced us? It’s all very diverse, from metal to rock bands, from Nine Inch Nails to Type O Negative for example, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Pink Floyd and Peter Murphy.
Jad: Away from music, if you had the chance to get rid of one threat our world is facing, environmental or political or social, what threat would you choose to completely remove?
Sophia: Hunger, physical and mental. There are many forms of hunger. The mental hunger that generates loneliness in the elderly but now more among the young.
Jad: During your long career as a musician, have you faced any form of sexism or discrimination? How did you deal with it and what advice would you give to young girls facing this kind of treatment at work or at home?
Sophia: Sexism is inevitable. The worst sexism is that which is practiced unconsciously, which is all the time. On my musical trip, when I started singing with other bands, I suffered a lot in the early years. (Young) Men told me to shut up many times. Your opinion didn’t count. This was unbelievable because we were all beginners at the time in the 90’s. It was pure sexism. Later, worse than shutting up is being hypocrite. And I lived that too. When the industry wants you to show your pretty face and then again ask you the shut up without asking it directly. Growing old is great. You gain lucidity about what surrounds you as much as you get white hair. Maybe that’s why I’m enjoying my white hair so much. I’m Samson in a white hair version of Portuguese rock metal!
Jad: Thank you Sophia for the interview. It was a pleasure and an honor to talk with you.
Sophia: Thank you so much for this opportunity to be able to reach your readers.