Sourvein Emerald Vulture

Plagued by hurricane-wrought delays, Emerald Vulture finally sees a late fall release. The first in a series of three new EPs by New Orleans sludge packers Sourvein, this four-song disc offers nearly a half-hour of down-tuned riffage, tortured vocals, and slow-mo drum battering that fans have come to expect from these noise degenerates. For the most part, guitarist T-Roy Medlin’s vocals are much more even and modulated than on their last album, 2002’s messy Will To Mangle on Southern Lord. Bathed in feedback and voice samples à la Eyehategod, opener "Blessed” immediately commences the murky, sepulchral doom that put Cathedral’s Forest of Equilibrium on the metal map. However, Medlin’s growls are pushed back in the mix of the title track, which results in more power channelled to the Electric Wizard-like chords. Sleep-sized bass lines kick off "Witch Rides Out…” amid an Iron Monkey-ish shuffle. The 13-minute "Heart of Ebon” spews its evil side early on, fading at the 3:30 mark to a noise collage of static loops and electronic cycles not unlike old Masonna. With more variety and better production on their next two EPs, Sourvein are hungry to share the spoils of doom with Indian, Grief, and Bongzilla. (This Dark Reign)