The Obelisk Presents: Sourvein 25th Anniversary European Tour

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on March 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

sourvein tour poster

You can put them up against anyone you want, past or present, but there’s just about nobody who does it nastier than Sourvein. The Cape Fear, North Carolina-based sludgers are hitting the quarter-century mark in 2018, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have The Obelisk present their special 25th anniversary tour in collaboration with Wombat Booking and Highway Holidays.

Founded by inimitable frontman T-Roy Medlin in 1993, Sourvein‘s roots were dirty right from the start. Medlin had spent years operating tape samples for Buzzov*en, and his own outfit would prove even grittier, his own vicious screams cutting through dirt-caked Southern riffs in a style that would become widely influential as the years went on. Early splits with fellow pioneers like Grief, Negative Reaction, Bongzilla and indeed Buzzov*en would lead to later collaborations with the likes of Church of Misery and Rabies Caste, and their self-titled debut, Sourvein‘s Sourvein, arrived at the turn of the century via Game Two Records, tracks like “Dirty South” a clarion statement of intent that continue to resonate these many years later.

Will to Mangle followed a couple years later via Southern Lord, and then Sourvein really got down to business. Constant touring and constant shifts in the lineup have been the chaotic modus operandi for the band ever since. Those Church of Misery splits and other EPs would be landmarks, but it wasn’t until 2011 that Medlin and company put out another full-length, Black Fangs (review here), through Candlelight. Brutal as it was, it was also a clear signal that they wanted to do more stylistically than they ever had before.

At last, enter Aquatic Occult (review here). The fourth Sourvein full-length, produced by Mike Dean of C.O..C. and released in 2016, would be a pointed revamp of the band’s approach to their sound. Clean vocals, numerous guest spots, brooding atmospheres — all of these things let Sourvein show there was more to Southern sludge than the defiled grooves they’d always so gleefully proffered. But of course, there was plenty of that as well.

Once again, Sourvein hit the road. They’ve been back and forth in US and beyond since Aquatic Occult came out, and once again, as they embark on the “25 Years of Distortion” 2018 European tour, it’s an honor to have this site’s name attached to the proceedings.

My understanding is more dates are forthcoming, but here’s an initial batch to get us started:

Sourvein – Aquatic Occult European Tour 2018 – 25 Years of Distortion
21.04 Brussels
27.04 SWR Barroselas Metal Fest
03.05 Geneva
05.05 Desertfest London
11.05 Gothenburg
24.05 Tilburg
25.05 Liege

Sourvein on Thee Facebooks

Sourvein on Bandcamp

Sourvein at Metal Blade Records website

Wombat Booking website

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Quarterly Review: Sourvein, Mantar, Elevators to the Grateful Sky, The Poisoned Glass, Spirit Collector, Phiasco, The Cosmic Dead, Postures, Estoner, The Black Explosion

Posted in Reviews on June 20th, 2016 by JJ Koczan


Well here we are. Standing on the precipice of a week of 50 reviews, looking out together at the geographic and sonic expanses that will be covered. I never know entirely what a given Quarterly Review is going to bring. Some have been smooth, some not. This one is being put together very little pre-production in terms of chasing down band links and that sort of thing, so I expect it’s going to be an adventure one way or another. I’ll keep you updated as we go as to my mental state and the deterioration thereof.

If you don’t know the drill, The Obelisk’s Quarterly Review is a week every three months in which I review 10 albums per day, Monday through Friday. Some of it was released in the prior three months, some of it is brand new, some of it probably isn’t out yet, some of it is probably older. It’s all relevant one way or another. I hope you find something you enjoy.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Sourvein, Aquatic Occult

Sourvein Aquatic Occult

Looking at the makeup of Sourvein’s much-awaited fourth album, Aquatic Occult (on Metal Blade), it’s understandable why it might’ve taken five years to put together. Yes, they had splits out in between, as they do, but the band’s last full-length was 2011’s Black Fangs (review here), and though the 14-song/42-minute Aquatic Occult is manageable, with a host of interludes to carry the listener along its thick-toned, undulating waves, a swath of guest appearances no doubt played havoc with logistics. Fortunately, Sourvein’s figurehead, vocalist T-Roy Medlin, seems to thrive on chaos. Working with producer Mike Dean (C.O.C.), and a revolving-door lineup that here features Lou Gorra of Halfway to Gone, Medlin brazenly explores a more melodic dynamic than he ever has. It’s a rare band looking to experiment after 20 years, a rarer band still that pulls it off so well. There’s still some sludgy rasp and guest growling, but Sabbathian roll is the order of the day ultimately and Medlin’s homage to his home in Cape Fear, North Carolina, establishes a breadth unheard before from Sourvein that’s worthy of the years and obvious effort that went into its making.

Sourvein on Thee Facebooks

Sourvein at Metal Blade Records


Mantar, Ode to the Flame

Mantar Ode To The Flame

Hamburg duo Mantar’s blend of thrash, sludge and blackened doom is brash, righteously punkish and thus far uncompromised in its malevolent intent. On their second album and Nuclear Blast debut, Ode to the Flame, songs like “Era Borealis” swagger as much as they sneer, the middle-finger-up arrogance becoming part of the appeal. “The Hint” offers some tinge of melody and “I Omen” some organ-laced atmospherics, but Mantar, who debuted in 2015 with the also fire-minded Death by Burning (review here) on Svart, carry their extremity forward like the next logical step of the same impulses that High on Fire once brought forth. Their tempo shifts, from blazing squibblies to outright lumbering, are pulled off with due fuckall, and the shouts from guitarist/vocalist Hanno and drummer/vocalist Erinc are spit forth in a manner near-indecipherable but still have no trouble getting their point across. Mantar are positioning themselves to be the kick in the ass that the underground needs. The next few years (and albums) will see how that pans out, but for now they have two scorchers under their collective belt.

Mantar on Thee Facebooks

Mantar at Nuclear Blast


Elevators to the Grateful Sky, Cape Yawn

elevators to the grateful sky cape yawn

There is a stylistic restlessness to stretches of Elevators to the Grateful Sky’s second record, Cape Yawn (on HeviSike), that becomes the uniting factor between the adrenaline-amped opening with “Ground” and “Bullet Words” and the later dream-surf Yawning Man-meets-sax unfurling of the title-track. The Palermo, Italy, outfit have stated their intention as capturing a blend of ‘90s alternative and modern heavy. Fair enough, but hearing that play out on the penultimate “Mountain Ship” in a mix of weighted riffing and laid back vocals giving way to shouts, it seems that to me that next time out, Elevators to the Grateful Sky should probably just start saying they sound like themselves, because they do. Granted, they’re pulling elements from familiar sources – Soundgarden, Kyuss, etc. – but in giving them new context, the four-piece are defining their sound as moving fluidly between the various styles, and that’s to be commended. The more you put into listening, the more you’ll get out of it.

Elevators to the Grateful Sky on Thee Facebooks

HeviSike Records website


The Poisoned Glass, 10 Swords

the poisoned glass 10 swords-700

Representing a 50 percent reunion of Burning Witch, the droning contemplations and hellish atmospherics of The Poisoned GlassRitual Productions debut, 10 Swords, pique immediate interest. And bassist/percussionist/etc.-ist G. Stuart Dahlquist and vocalist/keyboardist Edgy 59 do not disappoint. With unspeakable patience, they execute six grueling and cinematic pieces that seem to find comfort in tortured expression and that feel claustrophobic even as they continue to expand outward and downward through “Plume Veil” and “Toil and Trouble” into the extended closing duo “Silent Vigil” – spoiler alert: not actually silent – and “Low Spirits,” which moves from minimalist stillness through far-back screams and into a wash of synth before its seven minutes are up, covering more ground in one track than some bands do in their entire career. Fair to say on the whole 10 Swords is an immersive listen, but the prevailing vibe is much less “diving in” than “being swallowed whole by some obscure medieval terror.” So, you know, watch out for that.

The Poisoned Glass on Thee Facebooks

Ritual Productions on Bandcamp


Spirit Collector, Owls to Athens

spirit collector owls to athens-700

Los Angeles newcomers Spirit Collector make their debut with the self-released, three-song Owls to Athens EP, clear in its intent and brimming with airy, post-rock-derived guitar atmospherics. A particularly telling moment arrives with the Terence McKenna sample in centerpiece “Reclaim Your Mind,” which speaks of casting off the culture of celebrity worship for a richer human experience, but it’s in the extended closer “Theosophy” (7:57) that Spirit Collector find their footing someplace between a doomed plod and thoughtful psychedelia, picking up a chugging momentum as they push through toward the almost blackened finish, having come a surprising distance since their eponymous opener set the tone for expanse. An encouraging first offering if somewhat familiar superficially as instrumental heavy post-rock (think Explosions in the Sky, Russian Circles, Red Sparowes, etc.), and there’s nothing in Owls to Athens to make one think Spirit Collector can’t move forward and develop the experimental drive they begin to show here.

Spirit Collector on Thee Facebooks

Spirit Collector on Bandcamp


Phiasco, Vieh

phiasco vieh

Vieh, the debut full-length from Colonge-based desert rocking foursome Phiasco, takes its name from the German word for “cattle.” The band owe some of their fuzz to Truckfighters and some of their psychedelic wash to Sungrazer, but the attitude in songs like “Ultimate Warrior” – comprised largely of riffs topped with an extended sample from the titular professional wrestler – and “Sunndown” is their own, as is the we’re-still-having-a-really-good-time-while-we-make-this-15-minute-song closer “Phisco” (sic), a highlight of the live-recorded full-length, which across its span is light on pretense and heavy on bounce. Cuts like “Old Town” and opener “Back to the Future” – hey, that’s a movie! – bring catchy hooks, and the uptempo “Erasing Rabbits with My Phaserlight” winds up as harmonized as goofed out, and thus is all the more engaging. There’s a certain amount of getting by on charm here, but Phiasco have a capable, varied songwriting process that’s given due fullness and clarity in these eight tracks.

Phiasco on Thee Facebooks

Phiasco on Bandcamp


The Cosmic Dead, Rainbowhead


Man, who gives a shit about anything else when Glaswegian five-piece The Cosmic Dead are enacting their hypnotic swirl? Their latest instrumental invitation to watch existence melt is called Rainbowhead and it arrives through Paradigms Recordings (CD) and Blackest Rainbow Records (LP) with four tracks that serve as the band’s first full-length since 2014’s EasterFaust, though they’ve had splits in between to keep a prolific rate of offerings fitting for their explorational heavy psych/space rock. The bulk of Rainbowhead is engagingly upbeat as side A plays out across “Human Sausage,” “Skye Burial” and the 13-minute “Inner C,” and side B’s 18-minute title-track follows suit as The Cosmic Dead seem to have found a similar niche between progressive rock and psych to that which Mammatus proffered on their most recent outing. It suits The Cosmic Dead, and they keep an improv vibe prevalent as ever, grasping the subconscious with trip-on-it lysergic pulsations.

The Cosmic Dead on Thee Facebooks

Paradigms Recordings website

Blackest Rainbow Records website


Postures, Halucinda

postures halucinda

Deeply textured and lush in its construction around guitar arrangements, percussive and keyboard-laden melodic flourish, Postures’ second full-length, Halucinda (on World in Sound), plays back and forth between prog and heavy rock impulses. The Gothenburg, Sweden, five-piece seem most at home in extended tracks like “Myriad Man,” “Every Room” and the jazzy 10-minute “Wavemaker,” but even the acoustic-led centerpiece interlude “A Million Sequences” invites the audience to turn up the volume for maximum wash effect. Paulina Nyström delivers a powerful, commanding and fluid vocal performance, and while the rhythm section of bassist Per Pettersson and drummer Isak Björhag are the foundation on which these complex structures play out – Viktor Andersson and Benjamin Watts handle guitar; Madeleine Sjögren is credited with backing vocals/keys and Margit Gyllspång percussion/backing vocals – there’s no angle from which Postures don’t come across rich and vital in their winding but well-plotted course, one song feeding fluidly to the next until the dreamy “In the Dark” rounds out with the emotional apex of the record.

Postures on Thee Facebooks

World in Sound Records


Estoner, Lennud Saatana Dimensioonis

estoner lennud saatana dimensioonis

What else to call a stoner band from Estonia? Estoner’s appeal, however, goes well beyond their moniker. The Tallinn-based outfit’s second album, Lennud Saatana Dimensioonis, arrives in a handmade hexagonal CD package, heat sealed, as well as with complete visual accompaniment on limited VHS and cassette via Golem Records. The music is no less relentlessly creative, running a gamut between prog, black metal, heavy rock, psychedelia, space rock and probably a few others in its seven-track course. A song like “Teleporteerumine” conjures darkened swirl and “Reptiloid” follows through with foreboding threat, but Estoner plunge even deeper as they go, proferring aesthetic reach that makes seemingly disparate elements work together fluidly on “Hüvasti, Kosmiline Monoliit” and the 10-minute closing title-track. Perhaps the highest compliment one can pay to Lennud Saatana Dimensioonis is to call it Svart-worthy, as its diverse means of engulfing the listener speak to a forward-thinking approach that one can only hope Estoner continue to develop.

Estoner on Thee Facebooks

Estoner on Bandcamp


The Black Explosion, Atomic Zod War


Extra points to Swedish troupe The Black Explosion for opening their third album, the space-fuzzed out Atomic Zod War (on Metalville Records), with its longest track, the 13-minute “Paralyzed.” That song offers a languid voyage through uncharted jammy reaches, and that sets an open, laid back expectation that the rest of the album seems only too glad to build on, from the Nebula-via-Monster Magnet blown out vibes of “Ain’t Coming Home” to the semi-garage buzz of “Going Down,” a highlight groove that emphasizes the natural, raw tones at play leading into “Get My Mind Together” and the finisher “Devil Inside,” which brings the guitar of Chris Winter (also Dollhouse) forward with backing from bassist Simon Haraldsson and drummer Andreas Lindquist that feels born of the new West Coast tradition but is likely playing off of older impulses. But for its hey-look-it’s-tits cover art, the grit Atomic Zod War offers comes through organically and draws the listener in with its live feel and underlying boogie.

The Black Explosion on Thee Facebooks

Metalville Records


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Sourvein Post “Avian Dawn” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 6th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

sourvein troy and mike dean

North Carolinian sludge mainstays Sourvein make their long-anticipated debut on Metal Blade Records this Friday with Aquatic Occult, an album that’s as much a departure from their past work as it is affirmation of the vibes frontman T-Roy Medlin has been eliciting for more than 20 years in the band. Produced by Mike Dean of Corrosion of Conformity and featuring that same band’s Reed Mullin on drums for several tracks, there are ties to be made there sonically as well, but Sourvein retain the underlying sense of grit that they last brought to bear album-wise on 2011’s Black Fangs (review here), with a completely different lineup around Medlin and a methodology much less geared toward incorporating guest appearances from the likes of Stig Miller, Mullin, Dean Berry of Iron Monkey, Keith Kirkum, formerly of Weedeater, and others.

That tradition, which specifically around “Ocypuss” seems to be derived from classic hip-hop, comes accompanied by the boldest stylistic shift Sourvein have ever made, with Medlin refining a cleaner vocal approach than he’s ever used before, and the band around him — bassist Lou Gorra (Halfway to Gone), guitarist Kevin Rochelle, drummer Spider — indulging experiments like “Mermaids” and the atmospheric “Cape Fearian” and bass-led “Bermuda Sundown” while still rolling out an abrasive push like that of “High Tide.” If you thought you knew what Sourvein were all about, and you haven’t yet had a taste of Aquatic Occult, there’s a good chance the band will surprise you at some point in the record’s 14-track/42-minute course.

A new video for “Avian Dawn” showcases some but not all of what I’m talking about and represents well the natural feel that Dean‘s recording brings to the album as a whole. The clip is comprised mostly of spliced together studio footage and gives a bit of insight into how the record was made. You’ll find it below, followed by the complete tracklisting and lineup for the album, courtesy of the PR wire.


Sourvein, “Avian Dawn” official video

Doom/sludge metal vets Sourvein will release their long-awaited Metal Blade Records debut, Aquatic Occult, on April 8th worldwide. Featuring guest performances by Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe (vocals, organ), Amebix’s Stig Miller (guitar), Corrosion of Conformity’s Reed Mullin (drums) and many others, the album is described by front-man T-Roy as the record he wanted to make at a time when his life was at its bleakest.

T-Roy details the guest appearances on this track and in the “Avian Dawn” video: “The ‘Avian Dawn’ video is directed/edited by Randy Ada and features live footage of us recording at SSP Studios in Raleigh, NC. You’ll see Mike Dean of C.O.C. on the production board, Reed Mullin of C.O.C. on drums, Kevin Rochelle of Sea of Tyrants on guitar, Lou Gorra on bass and myself recording riffs and vocals. This video truly gives a behind the scenes look at the album’s core performers hard at work. Music wise, ‘Avian Dawn’ is an upbeat song about positive thinking with an overall loose theme surrounding the sea birds of Pleasure Island, relayed as abstract wordplay in the lyrics throughout the song. We really dig this tune and it’s a lot of fun to play. Enjoy.”

Aquatic Occult is produced by Mike Dean and mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, Yob). Pre-orders for Aquatic Occult are available now in CD, vinyl, and digital formats via

Aquatic Occult track-listing:
*Reed Mullin on drums
1. Tempest (Of Desire) (feat. Stig Miller-Amebix)*
2. Avian Dawn*
3. Ocypuss (feat. Randy Blythe-Lamb of God, Mike Dean-Corrosion of Conformity)*
4. Aquanaut (feat. Dean Berry-Iron Monkey, Chris Holcombe and Joel Martin-Subrig Destroyer)
5. Hymn to Poseidon*
6. Mermaids*
7. Urchins (feat. Chris Holcombe and Joel Martin-Subrig Destroyer)
8. In the Wind*
9. Cape Fearian (feat. Dave Capps-All Tore Up, Randy Blythe spoken word-Lamb of God)*
10. Capsized (feat. Dave Capps-All Tore Up)*
11. High Tide (feat. Chris Holcombe and Joel Martin-Subrig Destroyer)
12. Bermuda Sundown (feat. Keith Kirkum-ex Weedeater)
13. Coral Bones*
14. Oceanic Procession (feat. Stig Miller-Amebix, Randy Blythe on organ-Lamb of God)*

Sourvein line-up:
T-Roy – vocals/guitar
Lou Gorra – bass
Rochelle – lead guitars/multi-instrumentalist
Spider – drums

Sourvein on Thee Facebooks

Sourvein on Twitter

Sourvein at Metal Blade Records

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Toke on Tour Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 30th, 2016 by JJ Koczan


Cape Fear sludge upstarts Toke will spend a decent portion of April on the road, heading north from their homebase in North Carolina and back south again on a run supporting their recently-issued split tape with Green Fiend. The band have also been confirmed as taking part in the Denver Electric Funeral Fest and Maryland Doom Fest, so it seems likely there are more dates to be announced for the summer as well.

What makes that seem even more likely is that Toke share the bill on Denver Electric Funeral Fest with Sourvein (among others, of course). As the two bands are based in Cape Fear, it doesn’t strike me as particularly crazy to think they might travel together, and Sourvein rarely go anywhere without touring. Toke would fit well on a bill alongside them, but of course nothing’s been confirmed so far as I know. That’s just me speculating.

In the meantime, Toke will share stages with a host of East Coast luminaries, including Heavy Temple and Wizard Eye in Philly, Foghound in Baltimore, Reign of Zaius and River Cult in Brooklyn, and Dutchguts in my former (but still beloved) Garden State, so if a name below seems unfamiliar for some reason, there’s a lot of good company being kept here.

Dates follow:

toke tour dates

We hit the road soon check it also we are on Instagram @toke_nc

4/2/16 Charlotte NC @ snug harbor w/ the seduction
4/15/16 Richmond VA Wonderland bar w/ Book of Wyrms & Melt
4/16/16 Philladelphia PA @ shred shed w/ Heavy Temple & Wizard Eye
4/17/16 Allentown PA @ Alternative Gallery w/ Heavy Temple, Under the Clothesline & Goatwizard
4/18/16 Asbury Park NJ @ wonder bar w/ Hand of Weed
4/19/16 Lucky 13 Saloon Brooklyn NYC w/ Reign of Zaius & River Cult
4/20/16 Montclair NJ @ Meatlocker w/ Dutchguts
4/21/16 Baltimore MD @ Windup Gallery w/ Gateway to Hell & Foghound
4/22/16 Frederick MD @ Guidos Speakeasy
4/23/16 Hagerstown MD @ R&K Pub w/ Fortress
4/24/16 Greensboro @ NYP w/ Dirac, Dogs Eyes and mini guns
4/29/16 Reggies 42nd street tavern
6/4-6/5 Denver Colorado electric funeral fest
6/26/16 Maryland Doom Fest Frederick MD

Toke, “Legalize Sin”

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Sourvein: Aquatic Occult Due April 8

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 10th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

sourvein (Photo by Randy Blythe)

Preorders are up now for Aquatic Occult, the upcoming fourth long-player from North Carolinian sludge mainstays Sourvein. It’s set for an April 8 release as the band’s debut on Metal Blade, and it arrives some five years after Sourvein‘s last album, 2011’s Black Fangs (review here). That might seem like a while — it certainly feels long enough — but Sourvein have put in significant road time in the US and Europe over the last several years, playing major fests abroad and slugging it out at home, and listening to leadoff single “Ocypuss,” which features C.O.C. bassist/vocalist Mike Dean (who also recorded) and drummer Reed Mullin, among others, it hardly seems Sourvein‘s time was misspent.

The record seems to feature a host of guest appearances, which the PR wire details below, but I’m somewhat curious as to the actual lineup of the band itself playing on the tracks. Of course, vocalist/founder T-Roy Medlin is the key component, but the band he’s had out with him of late was killer, so I’m wondering if they made it onto the recording. We’ll see in the liner notes.

For now, info and audio await:

sourvein aquatic occult

Sourvein reveals details for new album, ‘Aquatic Occult’; launches first single, “Ocypuss”

For over two decades, Sourvein front-man T-Roy has managed to keep the roving pirate ship that is his band afloat through sheer will alone. Pushing through poverty, the deaths of friends and family, bouts of severe depression, periods of alcohol abuse, and an absence of the stability provided by a consistent record label, T-Roy has over the course of two decades managed to build the band into a highly respected force in the metal, doom, sludge, and crust underground.

Over twenty long dues-paying years later, Sourvein has at long last found a proper home for their doom-laden Southern noise with Metal Blade Records. The band’s upcoming full-length and Metal Blade debut, Aquatic Occult, will reveal itself to the masses on April 8th.

Pre-orders for the album begin today at While there, stream track three from Aquatic Occult – “Ocypuss”. The track features guest vocals from long-time supporter, Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe, and a guest performance by Mike Dean (bass) and Reed Mullin (drums) of Corrosion of Conformity.

Aside from Blythe, Dean and Mullin, the album features additional guest performances from musicians Stig Miller (Amebix), Keith Kirkum (ex-Weedeater), Dean Berry (Iron Monkey), Dave Capps (All Tore Up), Chris Holcombe and Joel Martin (Subrig Destroyer), and Kevin Rochelle (Sea of Tyrants). Reed Mullin performs drums on all but four album tracks, as indicated below.

Aquatic Occult is produced by Mike Dean and mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, Yob).

Aquatic Occult track-listing:
*Reed Mullin on drums
1. Tempest (Of Desire) (feat. Stig Miller)*
2. Avian Dawn*
3. Ocypuss (feat. Randy Blythe, Mike Dean)*
4. Aquanaut (feat. Dean Berry)
5. Hymn to Poseidon*
6. Mermaids*
7. Urchins
8. In the Wind*
9. Cape Fearian*
10. Capsized (feat. Dave Capps)*
11. High Tide
12. Bermuda Sundown (feat. Keith Kirkum)
13. Coral Bones*
14. Oceanic Procession (feat. Stig Miller, Randy Blythe on organ)*

“Finally man, finally, my years of hard work have paid off,” says T-Roy, reflecting on the lengthy, gruelling trek that brought his band to Metal Blade’s roster. He adds, “‘Aquatic Occult’ is going to bring the truth. The lyrics are reality to me; I don’t write about cars or chicks or horror movies, I write about the sacrifice and struggle, all the stuff I saw growing up and what I see now. But I want it to be positive, to let people know that there is a way out of bad times and tough situations.”

Sourvein, “Ocypuss”

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Sourvein Begin Recording Aquatic Occult

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 8th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

t-roy medlin sourvein

As we speak, North Carolina sludge mainstays Sourvein are in the studio with C.O.C.‘s Mike Dean at the helm tracking their Metal Blade Records label debut full-length, Aquatic Occult, which is set to release later this year. One imagines that’s not a bad position to be in, and all the more with the word below that Amebix‘s Stig Miller is joining vocalist T-Roy Medlin and company for a two-song collaboration on the album. What that might sound like, I don’t know — raw would be my guess — but it’s one more reason to look forward to Aquatic Occult, on top of Medlin‘s clean-vocal experimentations on Sourvein‘s 2014 split with Graves at Sea and the band’s reliable barrage of grueling riffs and harsh-spoken truths.

The PR wire has it like this:

sourvein aquatic occult

SOURVEIN: Cape Fear Sludge Saviors Begin Tracking New Full-Length; Guest Collaboration With Amebix’s “Stig” Miller Confirmed

Long-running Cape Fear sludge saviors, SOURVEIN, are currently holed-up at SSP Studio in Raleigh, North Carolina with Corrosion Of Conformity bassist/vocalist Mike Dean at the recording helm tracking their forthcoming new full-length, Aquatic Occult. Slated for release later this year via Metal Blade Records, the long player will include a two-track collaboration between SOURVEIN mainman, Troy “T-Roy” Medlin, and guitarist “Stig” Miller of UK crust punk icons Amebix. Further details to be revealed in the weeks to come.

SOURVEIN has existed through two decades of distortion, damage and relentless doom, their resin-coated carnage made of toxic riffs, grooves and just the right amount of psychedelic appeal. In properly commemorating the release as well as chronicling twenty often-times tumultuous years as a band, Medlin was recently interviewed by friend and fellow musician, Randy Blythe of Lamb Of God, who penned the band’s new biography. The text will serve as a thorough SOURVEIN introduction for the uninitiated.

“Finally, man. Finally,” T-Roy relays in an excerpt from the text. “It’s the record I wanted to make when I was in those rooming houses, but I couldn’t. There was too much pain, so I got lost for bit, falling back into the party life and trying to numb myself with alcohol. But motherfuckers need to feel the pain. There is more to life than numbing yourself.” Is that what Aquatic Occult will be about, bringing the pain? “I’m going to bring the truth. The lyrics are reality to me; I don’t write about cars or chicks or fucking horror movies, I write about getting my nose fucking broken, all the stuff I saw growing up and now. But I want it to be positive, to let people know that there is a way out of bad times and tough situations. I’m living proof.”

Stay tuned for further SOURVEIN transmissions including studio updates and live actions.

Sourvein, Live at Maryland Deathfest 2014

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Sourvein Signs to Metal Blade; Aquatic Occult Due in 2015

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 11th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

The Dirty South finds a new home out west! Earlier this year on a split with Graves at Sea, North Carolina sludge stalwarts Sourvein began to show a different side of themselves, founder and vocalist T-Roy Medlin experimenting with a cleaner approach to singing over the band’s signature rolling riffs. On tour this spring in Europe, they worked this stylstic shift successfully into the context of their past material — raucous, riotous and filthy — and I guess it worked out. Their next album, Aquatic Occult, will be released on Metal Blade Records.

Their plan is to record with Mike Dean of C.O.C. early next year and put it out sometime thereafter. Medlin has bled hard for his band over the years, been through more lineups than I can count, and even Sourvein‘s last full-length, Black Fangs (review here), was badass, so I’d definitely say he deserves the push Metal Blade will give. Congratulations to him and to the band.

Fresh off the PR wire:

sourvein aquatic occult banner

Sourvein signs to Metal Blade Records, plan release of “Aquatic Occult” for 2015

Critically-acclaimed sludge/doom veterans Sourvein have signed with Metal Blade Records! The new partnership’s first effort will be the release of the band’s fourth full-length album, “Aquatic Occult” in 2015. The album is scheduled to be recorded with Corrosion of Conformity’s Mike Dean in early 2015 and will finally see its release later that year. Sourvein main man Troy “T-Roy” Medlin was interviewed by friend and fellow musician, Randy Blythe of Lamb of God fame, who penned the band’s new biography. The text will serve as an excellent introduction for the uninitiated. It’s a recap of the past twenty years of the band, and a look towards a bright future for Sourvein.

Below is an excerpt from the biography, which includes comments on the signing and the upcoming album:

Over twenty long dues-paying years later, Sourvein has at long last found a proper home for their doom-laden Southern noise with underground stalwarts Metal Blade Records, and Medlin couldn’t be happier. “Aquatic Occult”, the band’s first offering on the label, promises to be heavier than a two-ton anchor dropped into an antique porcelain bathtub– it’s going to break things. But getting here hasn’t been easy.

“Finally, man. Finally,” he says, shaking his head in disbelief as he reflects on the lengthy, grueling trek that brought his band to Metal Blade’s roster.

“It’s the record I wanted to make when I was in those rooming houses, but I couldn’t,” Medlin says, “There was too much pain, so I got lost for bit, falling back into the party life and trying to numb myself with alcohol. But motherfuckers need to feel the pain. There is more to life than numbing yourself.” Is that what “Aquatic Occult” will be about, bringing the pain? “I’m going to bring the truth. The lyrics are reality to me; I don’t write about cars or chicks or fucking horror movies, I write about getting my nose fucking broken, all the stuff I saw growing up and now. But I want it to be positive, to let people know that there is a way out of bad times and tough situations. I’m living proof,” he says. When Sourvein hits the road in 2015 to support “Aquatic Occult”, is that what he’ll be talking from the stage, positivity?”

Man, it’s not all peace and love; it’s just not coming from hate anymore. And when I’m on stage, I’m not up there to talk to you anyways. I’ll let the amplifiers do the talking. I want you to feel it. You’ve got to feel alive, and life sometimes includes pain. Masking it doesn’t do any good, because it’s still there. It’s better to live and feel it. All of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly.”

For more information and to stay up to date, follow Sourvein on facebook and twitter here:

Sourvein, “Follow the Light” from Split with Graves at Sea (2014)

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Graves at Sea and Sourvein to Release Split on May 13

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 27th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

So you take the reignited Graves at Sea, and you put them in the studio with Billy Anderson. Right? Fucking brilliant. Then you take Sourvein, now past the 20-year mark, and you put them in the studio with C.O.C.‘s Mike Dean. Also, fucking brilliant. Then you take the results of these sessions, slap some badass war-wolf art on it, press it to CD and LP, and presumably take the rest of the day off, because I don’t care what else you come up with, you’re just not gonna top that idea.

And I’m not saying I’ve heard any of this material yet or anything, but you’re in for a surprise if you think you know what to expect from Sourvein.

The two bands start a European tour April 10 at Roadburn, and Seventh Rule has the split out on CD and LP on May 13.

Check out the PR wire, telling it like it is:

GRAVES AT SEA And SOURVEIN Unite For A Release Of Ultimate Amplifier Worship; Preorders Available This Friday

Two of doom metal’s mightiest of feedback-laden riff worshippers – Portland’s GRAVES AT SEA and Cape Fear’s SOURVEIN – have united in sound, mind and spirit for the ultimate split of earth-smoldering amplifier worship.

GRAVES AT SEA, whose contributions leave an eerie aura complete with tortured vocals, foreboding composition, and a general sense of dread, occupy Side A. Recorded by Billy Anderson, (Melvins, Sleep, Neurosis) “Betting On Black” and “Confession” finds the all-consuming sludge for which the band is notorious, flooding in amongst the tortured howls and shrieks of vocalist Nathan Misterek.

SOURVEIN, who’ve now existed for two decades of distortion, damage and total doom, solidify Side B. With three songs produced and recorded by Mike Dean Of Corrosion of Conformity, these odes of heavy combine toxic riffs, grooves and just the right amount of psychedelic appeal.

Track Listing:
1. GRAVES AT SEA – Betting On Black
2. GRAVES AT SEA – Confession
3. SOURVEIN – Driffter
4. SOURVEIN – Equinox
5. SOURVEIN – Follow The Light

Both sides were mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, Beastmilk, Nails) at Audiosiege Engineering and will be released via Seventh Rule Recordings on both CD and LP on May 13th, 2014 during the two bands’ duel conquest touring Europe and prior to their appearances at this year’s edition of the illustrious Maryland Deathfest. The first pressing of the LP will be limited to 1000 copies and come available on 160-gram black wax with an included download code. Recommended for fans of Eyehategod, Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, and all things loud and fuzzy.

Preorders will be available THIS FRIDAY (3/28) at THIS LOCATION.

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