In 2002, Sourvein celebrated their tenth anniversary, and the southern alternative metal band had evolved considerably during the course of ten years. 21st century members of Sourvein, which was formed in Wilmington, NC, in 1992, have described the band's early work as a combination of the Melvins, Millions of Dead Cops, and Black Flag. But in the early 2000s, Sourvein was combining Black Sabbath-minded guitar riffs with a death metal-ish vocal style. Singer T-Roy Medlin (formerly of Buzzov-En) was favoring the sort of tormented, larynx-shredding vocals one associates with death metal, black metal, and grindcore bands, but Sourvein's early-2000s approach didn't include the insanely fast tempos one expects from death metallers; instead, guitarist Liz Buckingham (formerly of the New York-based 13) went for slow, plodding riffs that were consistently mindful of Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and put Sourvein in the doom metal category (which has given listeners Sabbath-influenced bands that range from Candlemass to Saint Vitus to Grief).
Over the years, Sourvein has had more than a few lineup changes. Buckingham has been on board since 1998, the year Sourvein moved from Wilmington, NC, to New Orleans. Sourvein went through various drummers in the late '90s and early 2000s -- including Jimmy Bower (of Eyehategod, Crowbar, and Down fame) and former Mason Dixon Overdrive member Slim Spencer -- before hiring Henry Vazquez. JC, one of Sourvein's band's former bassists, was around in the late '90s but was replaced by Miguel Veliz when Sourvein moved from New Orleans to Texas. In 2001, Sourvein signed with the San Francisco-based Man's Ruin Records, which had put out a lot of stoner rock, alternative metal, and punk. But Man's Ruin never released anything by Sourvein; when the independent label experienced financial problems, Sourvein ended up looking for another record deal. In 2002, Sourvein signed with Southern Lord Records, and the band's Medlin/Buckingham/Veliz/Vasquez lineup recorded the brutal Will to Mangle that year. ~ Alex Henderson