Sourvein Will To Mangle

Just as Wisconsin's Bongzilla have finally broken the chains of their career-long mediocrity with their blazing new Gateway album, New Orleans' Sourvein have effectively turned back the clock on conventional doom almost ten years with Will To Mangle. Instead of revisiting the superior Eyehategod/Cavity sludge grooves of their previous full-length on Game Two, Sourvein opt for the less accessible down-tuned dirge of the recently departed Grief, but with much less innovation and vigour. "Bangleaf," "Seamerchant" and "Blizzard" drone on relentlessly with no end in sight until "Blackzorlac" arrives, which sports welcomed Sabbath-ian breakdowns dripping with Iommi-styled guitar fluttering. The clubfooted loping of "1%d.f.f.d." gives way to some needed tempo changes and chord variations, and thankfully "Carveblind [In Faith]" continues that trend, while the lesser "Zeropath" degrades into a total mess. Former 13 guitarist Liz Buckingham does however get slightly melodic on the closing track, "Dirgewine," with tasteful leads over the ever-plodding rhythms. Amazingly, former Buzzov*en member T-Roy Medlin manages to temper his vocals to an almost perfect monotone throughout the entire album. More somniferous than Burning Witch, but decidedly less exciting than Electric Wizard, Sourvein will always find a safe harbour at Southern Lord Records among the stacks of unsold Sunn0))) and Teeth Of Lions Rule The Divine discs. (Southern Lord)