When you hail from a place called Cape Fear, you’d better have some dark, broody music up your sleeve. North Carolina’s Sourvein provides that in spades. The sludgy doom rockers formed in 1993, but their newest full length album, Blank Fangs is only their third. Over the years they’ve done several split records with other artists, and a couple of EPs, but this time around it’s all Sourvein. It’s long overdue and about damn time, as it’s been near a decade since the band last slathered us in mud and distortion with, Will To Mangle.
So, founder, guitarist, and vocalist T-Roy Medlin and his brood have returned with Black Fangs, which for some bizarre reason makes me picture a vampire with meth-mouth. But I digress. On Black Fangs, Sourvein sink us into 10 new tracks of down-tuned quicksand. There’s a lot to like on this album, and a little to love, but there’s nothing here that sets them band apart from their contemporaries. Still, that’s okay. Sometimes “good” is more than enough.
Black Fangs delivers everything we love about our doomy sludge metal; distorted plodding tunes, anguished bellowing vocals, punishing drum work, and muddy, groove laden bass lines. The album steps off right into the muck and mire with “Fangs”, and Medlin’s voice croons like a bad case of strep and a Southern Comfort hangover. The guitars are thick, the mood is dark, the bass dense and dirty, the drums crushing.
Next the album crawls into the aggressive, “Societys Blood”, and the dirge is on. Drummer Jeffrie Moen shines on this track. And so it goes for eight more songs. Solid, unrelenting passages, with drag-you-into-the-grave riffage, and a bludgeoning rhythmic section, straight from the bowels of dispair.
On “Gasp” we get a surpising bit of speed to go with the assertiveness of the track. At least in so far as you can push a sludge song to the limits.
One of the album’s stand out tracks is “Nomadic”, which is a purely punishing song, Meanwhile the album closer, “Nocturnal/Negative Phaze” is perhaps as close to epic beastliness as Sourvein gets.
Black Fangs offers up nothing overtly new or awe inspiring, but like a truck stop diner, you know you’ll get the satisfying goods for your money and hit the road with a contented smile and a full belly. Sometimes all you want is a thick slab of sludge, dripping with doom, and slathered in heaviness with a side of misery. If that’s the kind of company you wanna keep and the type of comfort food your ears ache for, then Sourvein has certainly served it up on Black Fangs. Don’t forget to tip your waitress.