Sovereign – Nailing Shut the Sacroscant Orifice

Wordiness is often a marker for headiness, and seriously any metal band that pulls out sacrosanct in their album title probably has something to say.  But US black metal, sadly, has often not had much to say.  Part of the reason for that is it gets covered over by all the clickbait BM worthlessness of the world, like every time Burzum pukes out an album or tosses an orange down his toilet.  You know, that’s clearly important because such “musicians” are so “relevant” in the field.  That was sarcasm, in case the quotes didn’t give it away.  So you have that, and then Mayhem tosses a pig’s head into the audience again, and everyone raises their beers in their air and says “hailz” or something to that effect.  Such things can cover the rest, or perhaps better to say stand in front of the better things, leaving those of us with real taste in the back to check out what’s going on behind the scenes, since that’s where real things are done anyway.  But a double problem for US black metal is in spite of often being in the background sometimes it’s often horrible, and in our desperation over here to have black metal like they have it “over there” we often latch on too heavily to what we have to the point that we gorge ourselves on the water before the cream.  But, if you take the time, you’ll likely find, now and then, that what’s pulling the ropes of the curtain has much more to say than the guy on the stage.


So let’s go behind the stage today and ignore all that clamor about such things we mentioned above to check out Sovereign, from Arizona.  These guys have only been around for a mere four years, and looking through the webverse it seems this is the only thing they’ve released so far in their careers.  They don’t even seem to have any demos to speak of, or at least they keep their earlier work to themselves.  So it’s quite likely, and we’re making a guess here, that these guys were discovered one day, playing in some filthy garbage heap of a darkened bar, covering themselves, as they do, in white paint, fake blood, body hair, and donning every type of bone imaginable until the entire stage looks like some bizarre disinterment from a pet cemetery.  However it happened, Broken Limbs Recordings picked them up this year for an absolutely sick cassette the likes of which black metal in the US rarely sees.  Domination supreme.


Nailing Shut the Sacrosanct Orifice elucidates on its designs very early.  After that atmospheric opener the slam begins, but Sovereign is not satisfied with typical structures so let’s lay it out.  Blast beats, tremolo when there’s nothing else to do, Popeye vocals, bah, they’re beyond that.  But see, what they do with this typical way of things, especially atypical for many US BM acts, is they manipulate it, they twist its joints until they break, then they toss it on the wheel and batter them into a pulp, finally forcing what remains onto the fragments of their knees in an act of contrition.  These guys have it all right here, it’s absolutely beautiful in the most black metal of ways.  They speed up when they need to, they slow down when dread commands then, the recording quality is raw yet the chord-work discernible, and those vocals, oh yes another great feat with tons of sickening variety as we like to see, with consistency only though variety.  See most black metal acts today are satisfied with the typical themes and direction.  It’s like going to Catholic Mass in any old backwater town, hearing the usual blather from the pulpit, yawning, imbibing poorly wrought wine with stale wafers, and then leaving without a thought on the matter.  Sovereign, however, commands their powers from a symbolic Seldec Ossuary, howling like rabid wolves, forcing 100% proof alcohol down your throat with moldered bread, and filling your mind with thoughts it can never erase, which is entirely more interesting. Give these guys a few years at this current rate and you’ll hear a lot more about them.  If you see them live, don’t bother raising a glass of piss-poor beer, raise a bone or two, they could always use another.


Sovereign Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Sovereign: Nailing Shut the Sacrosanct Orifice
Broken Limbs Recordings
5 / 5