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Sourvein - "Black Fangs" (CD)

Sourvein - "Black Fangs" CD cover image

"Black Fangs" track listing:

1. Fangs
2. Society's Blood
3. Night Eyes
4. Gasp
5. Holy Transfusion
6. Flux
7. Nomadic
8. Gemini
9. Bleeding Charm
10. Nocturnal/Negative Phaze

Reviewed by on June 24, 2011

"This album is truly a classic sludgy masterpiece, yet miles ahead of anything happening in the modern metal scene at the moment."

Although the musicians of Sourvein aren’t spring chickens, they have much more energy and sheer power than a band twenty years their junior. “Black Fangs” is like a train barreling down the tracks at two-hundred mph; the momentum of tons of metal devastating anything in its way. This album is truly a classic sludgy masterpiece, yet miles ahead of anything happening in the modern metal scene at the moment.

Opening with “Fangs,” a sludgy, psychedelic melody is joined by vocalist T. Roy Medlin’s amazing growl, which is almost a primal scream of pure anger. The doomy groove introduced here is just deep sounding; the tone is very rich throughout the album, making it irresistible to stop listening.

“Society’s Blood” continues with some of the heaviest riffs ever. I find them akin to the life-changing opening of Tryptikon’s “Eparistera Daimones.” King James Haun’s guitar dominates this song as T. Roy’s eerie screams are buried in the music like some black metal bands like to do. It adds a creepy and haunting aspect that also happens in “Holy Transfusion,” when the vocals and guitar duel for dominance. “Flux” also has a creepiness; it almost seems like the soundtrack from an old horror movie.

Bassist Dave Sherman does great work also when he plays the intros for “Holy Transfusion” and “Gemini.” The really rough and textured notes set the stage for the crazy song you’re about to hear. And the drum work in “Black Fangs” is stellar. Jeffrie Moen has a great feel for the music and punctuates it perfectly. The drum intro to “Gasp” shows his talent for solos, and the rock-inspired “Nomadic” proves he can improve on a basic rock format beat.

“Black Fangs” has a fulfilling sound from the underlying rich tone to the heavy melody and glorious growls. T. Roy screams “Resist/Revolt/Reject/Retaliation,” and you understand that’s exactly what the album is about: pure rebellion, which makes “Black Fangs” a masterpiece.

Highs: Sludgy goodness from the opening note to ending fade.

Lows: Could use a slightly higher volume on the bass, but I love my bass.

Bottom line: An amazing listen due to the rich texture of each song.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)