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Dread Sovereign - For Doom The Bell Tolls

Dread Sovereign
For Doom The Bell Tolls
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 07 July 2017, 8:00 AM

The first track on DREAD SOVEREIGN’S second album “For Doom the Bell Tolls,” definitely has the dread part down—the violent wind and what sounds like a train approaching really convey a sense of despair and doom, which is great, because this album reeks of doom.  Upon hearing the thick slab of doom metal guitars rolling to crush everything in their path on the second track, “Twelve Bells Toll In Salem,” I could had sworn I was listening to a long lost BLACK SABBATH track.

However, whereas SABBATH were rooted in blues and hard rock, DREAD SOVEREIGN take that sound but expand upon it with a great atmosphere that is so heavy, so entrenched in darkness, that I didn’t know if I should head bang or pray for their souls.  Nemtheanga’s (singer for PRIMORDIAL) vocals are harrowing—the he sounds like a lower register Ozzy mixed with anguished screams.  His wail is indeed somewhat chilling but that fits the music perfectly.  “Twelve Bells…” definitely evokes an image of a time gone passed where people were hunted down and killed.  Throughout the track’s thirteen minutes, we are treated to crushing riffs, a tempo that makes MY DYING BRIDE seem like a thrash band, and a somewhat spaced out sounding section towards the end where the guitar does all sorts of crazy stuff.  It’s a very cool track and its somewhat of a gamble to put the longest one first but it pays off as the song keeps your attention.

The next track, “This World is Doomed,” speeds things up a tad bit, throwing him a little hard rock into the metal mix but it gives the song a balance that gives a brief respite from the doom masterpiece of the previous track.  Con Ri’s drums here are particularly interesting, coming off like rolling thunder off the misty hills of a forgotten land.  At the 4:42 mark, the guitars and bass get really low and heavy, turning into some sludgy doom but it still has that old school doom sound to it.  The album isn’t perfect, however.  The last track, “LIVE LIKE AN ANGEL, DIE LIKE A DEVIL,” is a cover song but it’s really out of place.  It’s a VENOM cover; it is actually better than the original but the song itself is so different from the others that is kills the pace of the album.  Although they give it a different sound, it still sounds far away removed from atmosphere of the previous tracks to really make it fit in. Still, a great cover.

Draped in Sepulchral Fog,” is a short instrumental and it’s really boring; it seems like a filler track or maybe best left as an intro to a future album—it is just noise that, unlike the first track, doesn’t really conjure up any images or enhance the next song after it. Speaking of which that song, “The Spines of Saturn,” is musically decent but the filtered vocals featured in it are annoying. This is a very solid doom release but with two short tracks and a cover included, it’s more of an EP.  It’s worth a listen just for the first three tracks but I just wish it had more to offer.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. For Doom The Bell Tolls
2. Twelve Bells Toll In Salem
3. The World Is Doomed
4. Draped In Sepulchral Fog
5. The Spines Of Saturn
6. Live Like An Angel Die Like A Devil (Venom Cover)
Bones – Guitar
Con Ri – Drums
Nemtheanga – Bass, Vocals
Record Label: Van Records


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