Thursday, February 12, 2015
Black metal History Month: Sovereign's "Nailing Shut the Sacrosanct Orifice"
Not to be confused with the doomy band that did a split with Graves at Sea, this west coast black metal outfit has blasted out an impressive first outing, that catches you ear more as the album moves along. The first few songs are blast heavy takes on raw Marduk styled black metal. There is a rawness to the album , but it sounds very dense and polished . All of the instruments stand where they need to be and no one gets buried in the distorted blur of some necro sound. They band even in these more straight forward full frontal assaults still display skill with their instruments. In some of the stomp you can hear a bit of grinding Carcass influence mixed in.
The snarling vocals have a wide ranged of anguish to them , from a demonic squeal to a more death metal grunt. At times they become even as emotive as the vocals in Depressive Black Metal. The pace slows a little on the somewhat Dissection influenced "Heaping Praise Upon a Cataract Sun". The vocals have a harsher rasp to them and the song possesses a powerful pound. This pound continues with an even greater menace though more single minded in it's dynamics on "Knives Coated In Pitch of Terror" that follows. It's not until the following "Sulfurs Cross" that the band really embarks upon more entrancing sonic blasphemies. As dark sense of melody comes in beneath the vocals that are screamed with more conviction.
After a swelling interlude of feedback they soar into "Bared Teeth of the Fog" which sees the band continuing down a more melodic path. Though the song eventually descends into a tempest of blast beats, but manages to stay afloat. There is more of a punk kick to the drive of "Part thy Flesh, Call his Name". That includes backing vocals that features members of Woe, a band Sovereign holds as an influence in some of the more punk like sections.
The darkest moments come as the album closes with the title track that shares much of the same torment as depressive black metal and where that type of emoting is most felt. Overall this is a very dense and heavy piece of American made black metal that latches onto what makes European black metal work so well, leaving most of their punk rock records and Godspeedyoublackemperor albums on the shelf so they can focus on the misanthriopy and spiritual chaos it represents. They do default to blast beats a little too often, so giving it an 8.5, but other than that this is pretty powerful stuff and worth a listen.