A North Carolina-based outfit intent on keeping the Southern sludge-doom sound of Eyehategod et al. alive, Sourvein hasn't released a full-length CD since 2002's The Will to Mangle, but despite revolving-door lineup changes (vocalist Troy Medlin is the only original member left), the band has managed to record three four-song EPs for as many labels since 2005, the latest being Imperial Bastard. In a way, the group is like the Fall: No matter who's actually playing guitar, bass and drums, it's Medlin's vision that prevails, and that vision is loud, slow and ugly, more about relentless punishment than the catharsis most metal bands pursue. Listening to a Sourvein song is like being beaten with a sack full of softballs that's been dipped in tar and motor oil: It hurts, and it'll leave stains on you for a long time afterward. Live, the group's blend of feedback, distortion and misanthropy is bound to be even more vicious.