Graves at Sea/Sourvein [USA]
Graves at Sea/Sourvein
Seventh Rule Recordings
I first heard of Graves at Sea earlier this year with their last EP, This Place is Poison and was thoroughly impressed with it, particularly the innovation showed at the cover of Black Sabbath‘s Orchid/Lord of this World that they included on the EP. Hence, encountering them again so quickly was a nice surprise, this time on their split with compatriots Sourvein on a split release, with Graves at Sea and Sourvein providing two and three tracks respectively to the split to what promises to be an epic sludge/doom metal experience.
Graves at Sea kicks off the split with the extremely groovy Betting on Black, and the listener is quickly engulfed in a fuzzy, yet suffocating soundscape provided by the tone of the guitars of Nick, who unleashes relentless riff after riff of class, not surprising considering his stints in other excellent doom bands such as Uzala and Atriarch. Bassist Jeff, with the high mix of his instrument on the record, adds a nice, heavy overtone, at the same time increasing some of that groove flavour in Graves at Sea‘s music. Nathan’s vocals are a tortured shriek, and these add some slight black metal elements on the record, emphasising the negativity that is on Graves at Sea‘s output.
But it was also curiosity about Sourvein‘s sound, with their years of experience playing sludge/doom that drew me to this split release. Keeping up with the high moods created by Graves at Sea already, Sourvein presents a sound that is slightly more punkish, especially with vocalist T-Roy’s style. The influences from pioneering bands such as Black Sabbath are rather obvious in the riffing of Oj Yogi, with songs like Drifter almost sounding like an even slower version of Master of Reality, with that slight stoner groove that is in the band’s playing. Equinox even brings in some rather psychedelic elements with the sound effects that are used, and admittedly, Sourvein‘s side provides the listener with a trippier experience (a la Dopethrone or Electric Wizard) than Graves at Sea.
While doom may have started and become popular over the years in the UK, with splits and bands such as Graves at Sea and Sourvein, America carries on bearing the torch of the genres that have spawned from doom metal.