This is the début album by US Black metal band Sovereign.
With an obscure album cover and an intro track, Gnosis, that is equally enigmatic; the album starts with a winding guitar and an increasing unsettling feeling. I’m not sure what to expect.
So when the first song proper, Orbiting Lunar Curse, begins, it’s almost relieving to be confronted with recognisable Black Metal, albeit played with passion and obvious talent.
Subtle mysterious melodies are deftly weaved into the tapestry of dark malevolence that Sovereign spin. This is a band who are very good at what they do.
Their Black Metal is richly realised and not limited to just one feeling or aura. They play music with depth and even incorporate into their sound that rarest of beasts – the Black Metal guitar solo.
The music has an almost physical presence. Guitar riffs and occult rhythms are unleashed with the confidence of master craftspeople.
An organic production gives Sovereign a very enticing sound and all of the songs are sinuous and slippery with reptilian heat.
Nailing Shut the Sacrosanct Orifice combines elements of Deathspell Omega, Marduk and Ondskapt to create an engaging album that fills me with a sense of Blackened grandeur.
I’ve encountered a lot of really good Black Metal recently and Sovereign definitely strike me as one of the best. Have a listen and see what you think.