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Sorxe - Surrounded By Shadows
2 September 2014

01. Steamroller
02. Her Majesty
03. Join Us
04. Smoke Signals
05. Make It So
06. Creeper Beast
07. Made To Suffer
08. Surrounded By Shadows
09. The Mountain Man

Melody and a strong sense of atmosphere can sometimes be hard to come by in the sludge style. The Americans of Sorxe, however, are here to provide us with a fine counterexample to this common rule.

A four piece out of Arizona featuring ex members of Graves At Sea and some other local bands, Sorxe's debut Surrounded By Shadows has everything that a good sludge album should have: the catchy riffs, powerful, wailing vocals, and careful attention to the maintenance of a good rhythm section with strong drumming and the addition of an extra bassist. While Surrounded By Shadows is far from being able to be called "crushing," some moments throughout the album, such as on "Creeper Beast," certainly help with their pulsing, barreling grooves to get a bit of a heavier vibe going.

What really helps define Sorxe's delivery, however, is their delicate layering of some more free flowing, atmospheric (some might say "post"?) sounds into their mix. This overall effect is near omnipresent throughout all the tracks of the album, but it cleverly manifests itself in different forms, whether through generally more relaxed passages ("Make It So"), a heavy synthesizer presence ("Join Us"), or the occasional psychedelic rock-ish guitar lead ("Her Majesty"). Either way, this facet of the band's music makes the album highly enjoyable from a somewhat more engaging perspective, and certainly helps it maintain a sense of uniqueness for its style.

So says the band on their Facebook page: "our name comes from the idea of music creation and energy coming from a place inside us that is very sacred and when channeled can be a religious experience." While I have little to no idea what "Sorxe" means in relation to this concept, their music does indeed seem to be attempting to tap into the power of some mysterious realm, and coming back with some quite enjoyable results from it. I would highly recommend both this band and album to any fans of A Storm Of Light: while Sorxe aren't exactly of their caliber, they take the same approach of heavy riffs embellished with a tasty, immersive atmosphere, and they achieve similar effects with it. Keep an eye on these guys!

Check out "Steamroller" on the Bandcamp page, and stay tuned for the full release.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Written on 20.08.2014 by
Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.
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Ilham - 20.08.2014 at 17:28  
That's something I might enjoy. They sound like they could rock my... ... ... SORXE.
Haha. I'm so funny I made myself laugh.
Apothecary - 20.08.2014 at 22:26  
Written by Ilham on 20.08.2014 at 17:28

They sound like they could rock my... ... ... SORXE.

Aye, your majesty, they'll give ya a good steamrollin, alright
tea[m]ster - 24.08.2014 at 17:55  
Yup, got my attention here...thanks for the review.

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