Sorxe – Surrounded by Shadows (Self Released)

Sunday, 17th August 2014
Rating: 7/10

Perhaps in a bit of irony, thinking of the title Sorxe just brings to mind images of a man’s deodorant (works day and night!). Of course, if you haven’t heard of Sorxe you may not understand the irony behind that statement. You see, the music of Surrounded by Shadows is actually quite filthy.

Sorxe toy with a number of genre mash-ups on their debut, Surrounded by Shadows. There are components of heavy sludge, stoner, doom, grunge, and even a bit of post-rock. There’s a lot of fuzz and some filth to add to the guitar tone, particularly on opener, “Steamroller.” Other tracks like “Smoke Signals” incorporate some melodic clean guitar segments that further enhance the heavier riffing when it drifts back into frame. Then there’s the atmospheric title track, which sets an eerie mood before the riff-centric stoner-esque closer “The Mountain Man.”

With the number of different things that Sorxe attempts, not all of them stick. The strongest tracks do open and close out the album (“The Mountain Man,” “Steamroller,” “Her Majesty”), but some of the middle tracks just seem to meander and are unsure of their direction. “Make It So” has a bloated 10-minute running time, “Creeper Beast” feels like it is made up of two different songs (the first, filthier piece seems more interesting) with a disjointed merger, and “Made to Suffer” is strong once it picks up, but getting there just takes too long.

There are some interesting aspects to Sorxe and Surrounded by Shadows, but if their focus was narrowed, it could be stronger and more cohesive. Worth a shot if you enjoy bands like Neurosis and Isis, but it seems their best work is still to come.

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