Sourvein – Aquatic Occult (Metal Blade)

Genre: Doom/Sludge Metal

Born from a bleak period in Sourvein founder T-Roy’s life, a chapter strewn with emotional wreckage, Aquatic Occult is an album the North Carolina native needed to make. It marks a rebirth of sorts for Sourvein (now essentially T-Roy plus a few mates) and is a powerful statement of intent.

This act – synonymous with the kind of scuzzy, crushing doom that could only come from the southern United States – are back in businesses, however their line-up pans out. And with tar-thick riffs like those found in Urchins on the table, it’s no surprise that the likes of Corrosion of Conformity’s Reed Mullin and Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe joined the ranks for Aquatic Occult.

Yes, some of Sourvein’s third full-length (and first for Metal Blade) dives into dirge, but on the whole it’s a mighty fine river of sludge, with Coral Bones and Hymn to Poseidon in particular showing just what T-Roy’s seismic guitar tone is capable of.

The real highlight, though, is a strange little nugget. Melodic and stripped back, the beautifully simple Mermaids sounds like it was recorded in a beach shack, with a beat played out on a washed up crate, but it does so much to convey both a sense of wistfulness and a feeling of transition… even hope.

Aquatic Occult isn’t an easy album to enjoy, yet it’s as deep as the ocean and shows that T-Roy is far from spent as a creative force. For those reasons alone, doom-heads need it in their collections.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 7.5/10 Tidal Power