Graves at Sea/Sourvein Split

Rating

The split EP is as essential to sludge metal as cough syrup and Southern Comfort. And for these two long-dormant acts—particularly the former—this concoction of an EP goes down like a mixture of those two elixirs. Like the syrup and the whiskey, Graves at Sea and Sourvein leave you raw and nauseous, but ultimately, cure what ails ya.

Graves at Sea gets first dibs, they who hadn’t released anything since ’05 until a recent Black Sabbath tribute and subsequent two-song EP that included their twisted take on “Orchid/Lord of this World.” They’ve got a new rhythm section these days, but still have that singer with the insanely long dreads, one who exudes a very un-Rasta vibe on these two new tunes. “Betting on Black” chugs and stomps its way through almost eight minutes of downtuned despondency, with horrifying howls giving way to a crunchier, more digestible chorus. The soul-searing continues with “Confession,” another eight-minute epic hymn of damnation. I mean, this guy could probably play the voice of Satan in a movie…or a black metal band!

Not that T-Roy’s considered a happy camper, either. On Side B, Sourvein unleashes three shorter bursts of sludge, starting with “Drifter,” the kind of sketchy character who’ll stab you in your sleep and steal your liver. The song marches on with a steady chug leading to a big chorus breakdown, keeping it simple ‘n sludgy. “Equinox” slows things down, sort of a Sleepy groove complete with “Planet Caravan” vocals. The slightly-longer “Follow the Light” has a dark, eerie vibe that actually reminds me a little of Trouble. More trad-doom than swamp sludge, except for the vocals. Nothing wrong with that, nothing at all…

(Seventh Rule Recordings)

Gruesome Greg

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for Hellbound.ca.

8.0 Rating