Although Ahab spearheaded nautical doom over the last decade, North Carolina sludge pioneers Sourvein have been playing with the subject since 2002’s Seamerchant, when Electric Wizard’s Liz Buckingham was still their guitarist.
From the opening crash of waves, Aquatic Occult bears its oceanic influence with committed totality, riffs bobbing and churning like abandoned ships. Sourvein swagger like underwater Clutch on Ocypuss, while Aquanaut lurches between a waterlogged Slayer riff and seasick rolling chords. As damp drums hammer into Hymn To Poseidon, Sourvein are deliriously immersed in their strange new world, and this exploratory looseness is a strength.
There’s a song called Mermaids that’s like the Velvet Underground jamming with Brian May, while Bermuda Sundown is compelling alien gothic blues
T-Roy’s throaty gargle is multi-tracked to powerful effect, and unusually for doom, riffs are never hammered into the ground: no song exceeds 4:20.