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The Black Fang

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Album Review

Crazy as it seems, 2011's Black Fangs is only Sourvein's third true album, and their first in nine years! Even more curiously, the Cape Fear, North Carolina-based sludge-doom ensemble spent all that time issuing some 18 songs spread over seven separate EPs and split releases, while leader T-Roy Medlin coped with Spinal Tap-like turnover that saw nearly a dozen musicians shift through his ranks. Anything but optimal working conditions, in other words, but conditions that also make the mere existence of Black Fangs seem like something of a triumph, even before the needle hits the groove. When it does, Medlin immediately sets about venting all of his pent-up bile and frustration in the form of familiarly visceral, vicious, and viscous sludge-doom that emanates from the speakers like a particularly toxic swamp gas. Whether that means sucking the doom right out of aortal Sabbath power chords ("Fangs," "Night Eyes," "Gemini," etc.), crushing and snorting every hardcore grain in sight ("Flux"), or squeezing the last "Gasp" out of willingly suffocated listeners, there's everything to love but nothing remotely innovative about his throat-lacerating vocals, acid-corroded riffs, and disorienting feedback swirls. Of course, keep in mind that Medlin actually helped to pioneer this sound back in the day, so you can't exactly begrudge his desire to carry on wallowing in its misery ‘til kingdom come — nor his followers' eagerness to wallow in it right along with him. Heck, they've waited long enough and, at this rate, there's no guarantee that Sourvein will be issuing another new album this decade! Best to enjoy what they have and leave the complaining to others.


Formed: 2002 in Cape Fear, North Carolina

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

In 2002, Sourvein celebrated their tenth anniversary, and the southern alternative metal band had evolved considerably during the course of ten years. 21st century members of Sourvein, which was formed in Cape Fear, NC, in 1993, have described the band's early work as a combination of the Melvins, Millions of Dead Cops, and Black Flag. But in the early 2000s, Sourvein was combining Black Sabbath-minded guitar riffs with a death metal-ish vocal style. Singer T-Roy Medlin (formerly of Buzzov-En) was...
Full Bio
The Black Fang, Sourvein
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  • $16.90
  • Genres: Metal, Music, Rock
  • Released: 18 July 2011

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