Soulful to a point of derangement and direct from a set of outer-spaced minds, Washington D.C. based psychedelic doom metal quintet Sorge wile up a devious and scornfully dramatized confessional on this self-titled debut EP. Traditional in their plod yet resolutely sludged-out as often as they are spirited towards Gaussian rushes of future-psych’d celestial synth, a great deal of what Sorge do is familiar in pieces and cadence yet the drang of the symbiotic whole in action amounts to an accessible and personality rich debut from this promising young doom metal act.
Formed in 2017 and naturally still very much on a trip towards finding their greater artistic notions in 2020, Sorge‘s enthusiasm is hardly contained as they swing through these four songs of lumbering riff and erratic tirade. Although vocalist/guitarist Joshua Gerras is still honing control of his exasperated style of narration yet the effect is already harrowing and sufficient in its conveyance of dread, menace, and the great wilderness of the mind. Twinges of Wino-esque soul, the brooding but still movin’ lilt of Revelation‘s ‘Never Comes Silence’, and the dramatic flair of modern Finnish doom a la The Lone Madman offer some vague sense of mood conveyed yet Sorge aren’t as traditional or refined as any suggested likeness, leaning towards slow-motion sludge rock and the sharper-edged psychedelic doom coming out of the Maryland area of late. Cathedralesque organ grinding, low-tuned and fuzz-scorched bass, and a guitar tone with a bit of a classic touch to its tone all amount to a sound rooted in traditional doom metal but fully hanging out of the mouth of modern sludge and stoner/doom fealty.
“A Horse in Turin” is the piece I’d returned to most often during my time with ‘Sorge’ and for a number of reasons. The first is the use of synth which isn’t the typical Cathedral style accompaniment but rather a celestial soundscape of its own, this’d contrasted with the Monolord-esque guitar tone which may not be a bassy Sleep-esque nuke but when it the amp is really on fire the particular guitar distortion used here rings out into a moment that is practically Chewbacca-esque in its scream just beyond the 3 minute mark and the warbling space-rock’d synth only add to this sensation. The song itself features Gerras‘ most dramatic performance which is appropriate for the subject matter, an allusion to Nietzsche‘s fabled descent and the parable for desensitization’s limits within the empathetic mind. I mean, I’d hope it’d dig somewhere near that deep with the reference. The feeling of ‘losing it’, and hard, is entirely there at the very least.
There are surely more highlights throughout, such as the repeated use of “Violence begets violence…” on “Argent” and the wildly psychedelic space-faring darkness of opener “Faith of a Heretic” where the synth work is just off the hook throughout. The general mood of ‘Sorge’ is a bit miserable, not unlike a typical Finnish doom metal record from the last two decades but with a slightly more distinct vocalist who isn’t quite a hundred percent there with his craft. This is definitely my kind of doom, something that feels earnest and ambitious but still a bit rough-edged and ‘underground’ and in reflection I’d felt ‘Sorge’ was a remarkable jumping off point for Sorge with the hope that they’ll not balance their grit and distemper away for the sake of industry standard tones in the long run. A moderately high recommendation and certainly higher for any devout fan of psychedelic doom metal.
Moderately high recommendation. 3.5/5.0
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