Black metal terrors Sovereign pour violent chaos into blazing first album ‘…Sacrosanct Orifice’

SovereignPure darkness, ghostly mystery, and outright auditory violence are at the heart of what we’ll discuss today. For this is a band not many know about quite yet, but as the weeks, months, and years progress, there’s practically no way they can go unnoticed because they are too volcanic and too damn good.

Sovereign are a mysterious black force hailing from the United States who have come our way courtesy of their thunderous and furious debut album “Nailing Shut the Sacrosanct Orifice,” a vicious, gnawing nine-track record that is punishing, mystical, and devastating. There is much to discuss about this band, who appear to follow the Sumerian chaos-Gnosticism path and anti-cosmic fury that should scare the pants off most people who care to indulge in their music. If their philosophical path isn’t really your thing, then why not relish in their unforgiving sounds that should fall in line with those who pay homage to Dissection, old Behemoth, and early-era Watain. There certainly is that aura of bloodshed that should keep the most maniacal of listeners satisfied, but they also have plenty for those who can appreciate good production values and music that sounds powerful and well-crafted coming out of the speakers.

Sovereign coverAs for its members, they are shrouded in mysterious names, with A handling bass and vocals; Hammer of Dread (Take Over and Destroy) on guitars; M.S. on guitar and vocals; and M.A. (Gatecreeper) throttling throats behind the drum kit. The record was mixed and mastered by Chris Grigg, who fronts Woe and knows a little something about what makes great black metal tick, and this thing keeps smashing through its whole run time. The album itself is limited to 100 cassettes, so you’d best hurry if you want a physical copy of their furious piece of soot that provides endless punishment.

Murky instrumental “Gnosis” opens the record letting chaos ring out and sting the listeners’ souls. That all bleeds into “Orbiting Lunar Curse” that explodes into black metal fury, rough growls that sound primitive, and even some melody that cuts into the smoke. The song thrashes hard, the lead guitar work blazes, and the finish is just vicious. “Heaping Praise Upon a Cataract Sun” is built on strong riffs and yowled vocals, feeling like hell exploding onto the earth, and then they hit a devastating groove that chews a hole through everything. More powerful melodies erupt, the track hits a speedy tempo, and a mix of yells and growls help this cut truck right to its conclusion. “Knights Coated in Pitch of Terror” is drowned in gurgly growls, with blinding guitar lines slicing up the atmosphere and a thrashy groove leading to eyes being blackened. The song blows open toward the end, with horrifying howls bursting with violence, and savagery steamrolling everything in its wake. “Sulfur’s Cross” opens with eerie guitars ringing out and feeling haunting, with a mid-tempo journey getting under way. The growls are grisly and menacing, with the lead guitar work gushing buckets, horrifying cries piercing the surface, and the guys dumping fuel on the fire as the song comes to a smoke-heavy ending.

“Profane Glow” is a spooky instrumental that doesn’t stay around very long but still makes its presence felt. “Bared Teeth of the Fog” greets you with blistering drums and surging melodies that wield one hell of a sword, and the ugly growls and sweeping chaos demolish your soul. The soloing is fiery and awesome, carrying the back end of the song, and noise utterly simmers in a cauldron of blood. “Part Thy Flesh, Call His Name” has a charging, Venom-style feel to it when it tears open, and it hits awfully hard, leaving bones in pile of powder. The track is vicious and angry, storming with mad infamy, as the intensity keeps building and multiplying until it finally gives way. The massive self-titled closer feels like a fever dream at the start, with guitars raining down. The tempo chugs heavily, with the vocals going for death, settling down a little bit halfway through its run before exploding anew. The band takes you on a series of up and downs that jerk your neck around and have you grasping for any means of safety, but it’s all for naught. The wild galloping and crazed wails are poured on heavily, only letting up their grip once all sound fades away and you’re left to contemplate the journey of evil you just sustained.

Sovereign sound like a band that, if they continue on this musical path, they’re bound to be enjoying a larger profile in the coming years. Their sound is rock solid, their playing is sharp, and there’s is a furious blaze at the heart of these songs. “Nailing Shut the Sacrosanct Orifice” is a coming-out party for this titanic band, and where they go from here will depend on their spirits never finding a level of satiation and always seeking more souls to consume.

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