Review: Sorge ‘Sorge’

Sorge are a five piece from Washington DC and consist of Christian Pandtle– bass, Joshua Gerras –guitar/vox, Mike Romadka – drums, Logan Boucher – lead guitar and Jake Filderman – synths. They’re a relatively new outfit having formed only in 2017 and their first show, judging from their Facebook, profile page took place in January 2018.

Sorge 'Sorge' EP

The band have described themselves as ‘psychedelic stoner sludge & experimental fuzz doom metal from outer space’, the outer space part particularly grabbed my attention as the band’s logo bares a stylistic similarity to that of Canadian prog metal titans Voivod. The artwork itself is by Ellie Yanagisawa and Bonner Sale and would suggest an organic desert style vibe, which would stand contrary to the band’s otherworldly logo.

This four track EP is the band’s first release and starts off with Faith Of A Heretic, the longest track. There are some spacy synth sounds in the background and the track moves at a glacial pace. Gerras’ vocals sound a little akin to Scott Reagers, if the latter had of performed on Saint Vitus’ Mournful Cries instead of Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich. The distortion, which closes out the track, segue ways nicely into follow up A Horse In Turin.

This number commences with a slow insistent bass before some almighty riffage enter the fray courtesy of Gerras and Boucher. The synth touches from Filderman add a nice Hawkwind space texture which does not overshadow but instead compliments some of the heavy ass psychedelic riffage. Gerras’ wailing at times reminds me of Chris Cornell at around the time of Soundgarden’s debut Ultramega OK, especially Beyond The Wheel. You’re then taken completely by surprise towards the end with a thrilling High On Fire influenced flourish with some pretty thrashy riffing. Wow.

The synth touches from Filderman add a nice Hawkwind space texture which does not overshadow but instead compliments some of the heavy ass psychedelic riffage…

Sorge have listed Neurosis and YOB as influences and these bands more cerebral approaches clearly come to the fore with one of the EP’s heavier numbers Argent. Neurosis’ relentless tribal drumming on the album A Sun That Never Sets (not well rated by allmusic, but is my favourite) have clearly influenced Romadka’s drumming. There is a distinct post-metal vibe about this one.

We reach the final track Astral Burnout which has also served as the band’s first single. In fact, the band’s PR Earsplit have labelled it as ‘dynamic’ which I cannot disagree with. Compared to the rest of the EP it’s rather on the lighter side and can, by those terms, be the logical successor to preceding number Argent. There is some nice Sabbathian grooving at around 4:14 minutes, which is the first time that that band’s otherwise ubiquitous influence on the stoner/doom metal scene, has really reared its head on this EP. As much as I love the Sabs, its refreshing that the band have not just resorted to the easy route and attempted to rework Volume 4.

As mentioned earlier, this is the band’s first release and is, in my opinion, a brilliant showcase for material to come and to again quote Earsplit, Sorge are ‘already heavily entwined in the creation of new material’ which I for one am looking forward to. For a band who’ve only been in existence for 3 years, I think that they’ve done themselves credit with this release. The subtle use of synths helps to enhance the band’s sound, instead of detracting away from it. It also helps them to stand out in an overpopulated genre that’s bursting at the seams with acts, all jostling with each other, to get noticed.

Label: Independent
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Reza Mills