For a genre so often associated with negativity and heaviness, both musically and emotionally, there are aspects of sludge that can see the genre offer great possibilities for catharsis and something approaching euphoria. After all, there’s always a sense of delight in the primal joy of crashing chords played loudly, which is something Sorxe fully embrace. By filtering their metallic sludge through a psychedelic haze, the band take the listener on quite a trip with The Ark Burner. By turns suffocatingly heavy, joyously stirring, and ultimately hugely cathartic, the album is a celebration of heaviness and the power of the riff.
To describe The Ark Burner as a trip feels apt; not only in the psychedelic, drugged-up sense, but also in the way that the album feels like a journey. There is a sense of musical progression and flow throughout that makes The Ark Burner very easy to sink into, letting its hazy atmospheres wash over you and its riffs take you away to some better place. Even at its slowest, The Ark Burner is reflective more than it is sad or brooding, hitting a sweet spot somewhere between The Flaming Lips and Mastodon at their most adventurous, with more than a hint of Meddle-era Pink Floyd in there too.
Given such star-gazing comparisons, it’s perhaps little surprise that The Ark Burner can sometimes lose direction a little, wandering off into the haze rather than sticking to the path it set out for itself. Yet this takes little away from the album, and in some ways, is in keeping with an album so steeped in wistful atmospheres and smoke-kissed textures. The Ark Burner is one to lose yourself in for an evening at a time, letting its riffs and rhythms take you to someplace better.
The Ark Burner is released 11th October via Prosthetic Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Stuart Wain