Wednesday, 1 February 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Dread Sovereign - "For Doom The Bell Tolls"


By: Brandon Green

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 03/03/2017
Label: Ván Records



This is a fantastic doom release for walking around in the woods when everything is dead.  This album deserves to be cranked, listened to on headphones in the dark with candles lit.


“For Doom the Bell Tolls” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. For Doom The Bell Tolls
2. Twelve Bells Toll In Salem
3. This World Is Doomed
4. Draped In Sepulchral Fog
5. The Spines Of Saturn
6. Live Like An Angel, Die Like A Devil (Venom Cover)

The Review:

I’ve been a huge fan of Primordial for years, so when Dread Sovereign formed in 2013 (featuring Primordial vocalist Alan Averill) I was beyond excited. Their first full length, “All Hell’s Martyrs” was a fantastic doom release loaded with memorable riffs and catchy vocal melodies. When it came out in 2014, it was a frequent listen for me. Fast forward to 2017; Dublin’s doom trio have put together their second full length effort, and it’s dripping with evil atmosphere, soaring vocals, and huge riffs.

Compared to “All Hell’s Martyr’s”, “For Doom the Bell Tolls” sounds a bit more vintage and less noisy.  Fans of the occult/psychedelic doom genre may take notice and appreciate this approach more than their previous release. The album starts with an atmospheric intro loaded with bells, feedback, and then builds into the effort’s longest track “Twelve Bells Toll in Salem.” The song starts with pure Sabbath-worship riffs pushed with soaring vocals and layered psychedelic guitar leads which develop into slow bass-distorted drum/bass/vocal sections.  The sound of this track just oozes with imagery of witchcraft, occult symbolism, and appreciation for evil. Definitely my favorite from the album.

Track 3, “This World is Doomed” starts with a classic heavy metal and more upbeat feel. The vocals and guitar riffs are more traditional in song structure, but this is a welcome addition providing the listener with a doom track perfect for pushing your speakers. There’s a brief break with “Draped in Sepulchral Fog.”  A two and a half minute atmospheric song loaded with atmosphere and feedback providing a build up to “The Spines of Saturn,” which is the final original song of the record. Clocking in around 8 minutes, the track has the feel of an 80s traditional doom song with loud catchy jam sections and upbeat repeated sections with vintage synths in the background.  The vocals overall in the intro provide more texture/melody than anything but are a welcome addition to the sound. Halfway through the song, the instruments open up to massive reverb/chorus drenched vocal melodies which build to the familiar heavy sound in the beginning of the track. The album closes with a Venom cover of “Live Like an Angel, Die Like a Devil” which is a ripping track loaded with the lo-fi evil feel of the rest of the record.  They did a fantastic job with this tune, and I can only imagine how huge this would sound live.

Dread Sovereign have created another worthy addition to their discography which is their own brand of filthy lo-fi sounding doom dripping with memorable vocal melodies. My only gripe with this record is I feel like it is a little on the short side.  I think another track would have rounded this album out nicely. This is a fantastic doom release for walking around in the woods when everything is dead.  This album deserves to be cranked, listened to on headphones in the dark with candles lit.

“For Doom the Bell Tolls” is available to buy/preorder here

Band info: facebook || bandcamp

FFO: Primordial, Candlemass, (old) Ghost, Pallbearer, Crypt Sermon


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