Album review: Creeper – Sanguivore

Southampton’s finest horror-punk crew Creeper master the art of grandiosity on their ghoulish third album…

Album review: Creeper – Sanguivore
Emma Wilkes

Things are out of sorts this October. It’s unseasonably sunny (thanks, climate crisis), and thanks to Creeper, Halloween is coming early. Then again, it’s the perfect time for the Southampton spooksters to resurface – on Friday the 13th, no less – and this time around, they’re following up their Americana-tinged rock’n’roll love story Sex, Death & The Infinite Void with a vampiric tale of friendship and romance.

Indeed, a story about vampires would seem right up their dark and shadowy street, but it’s not the only aspect of the album that feels so right for this band to explore, even when it’s thus far untrodden territory. Practically everything about it makes beautiful sense, even when it perhaps shouldn’t.

Sanguivore is the most grandiose and ambitious Creeper have ever sounded, and, case in point, its opening track is a nine-minute rock-opera-opener-in-the-making. Further Than Forever is absolutely glorious, tempering twinkling keys, artful guitar soloing and angelic harmonies, with a grandeur that makes Welcome To The Black Parade seem shoddy and thrown together in comparison. Elsewhere, the unabashedly horny Cry To Heaven sways with a sensual groove and lashings of flamboyance before flouncing into an outlandish key change, and they embrace the theatricality, which lands just on the right side of OTT, wholeheartedly and without pretension.

There’s also more variety here than ever – Sacred Blasphemy’s ’00s emo sensibilities are embellished with rock’n’roll glitz, while Chapel Gates feels like a shinier, Jim Steinman-ified take on their older work (and earns bonus points for the cackle-worthy quip 'She’s getting laid but not to rest'.) The jewel in the crown here, however, is the album’s biggest left-turn, namely the much-hyped Black Heaven – a pulsing, sparkling slice of goth disco that’s essentially Depeche Mode in black lipstick, and it might sound ridiculous, but it’s utter genius.

Frankly, Sanguivore may well be Creeper in their ultimate form, and by embracing their biggest, most bombastic sound ever, they’ve created black magic.

Verdict: 5/5

For fans of: Alkaline Trio, My Chemical Romance, Ghost

Sanguivore is released on October 13 via Spinefarm

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