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Dread Sovereign | ‘ For Doom The Bell Tolls’

I rather enjoyed Dread Sovereign’s debut EP and subsequent full length album.

So it was with great anticipation that I listened to the trio’s new album, with its rejuvinated lineup.

Unlike a lot of Doom bands out there today, Dread Sovereign haven’t neglected the metal part of Doom metal.

They’re a proper Heavy Metal band, rather than an excuse to compensate lazy song writing with a wall of Orange amps and band names like “Bong Wizard” or whatever.

It’s clear that the high level of quality that was present on the group’s earlier output is also evident here.

The subject matter on this record remains fairly traditional Doom fare, with tales of Religious persecution and Satan. But, as you’d expect, there’s actual engagement with the subjects at hand and a historical backbone to Alan Averill’s lyrics which really counts for something.

So it’s immediately better than the usual fayre whose only inspiration is a couple of British horror movies from the early ‘70s.

Serious Persecution

Opening track ‘Twelve Bells Toll in Salem’ tackles the familiar topic of the Witch trials during the 17th century and suitably evokes a feeling of dread in the listener when lesser bands might have turned the subject matter into a kitschy romp.

Religious persecution is indeed a serious business don’t you know?

‘This World is Doomed’ is a rousing and mostly-up tempo number and from the blast of lead guitar early on you know you’re in for something special here.

The lyrical message of “the world is fucked, so have another drink” Is something Lemmy would have been proud of, and is both timely and timeless in its message.

It’s worth noting that a lot of this record is pretty up tempo in its nature and this is something I think is worth drawing attention to. Look at any of the classic 80s Doom bands and you’ll notice that a lot of their output wasn’t all snail’s paced.

A little bit of variation in tempos never did anyone any harm after all, and it’s one of the defining developments of the band’s sound on this outing.

Venomous Concepts

It’s tempting to look at “For Doom the Bell Tolls” as an exercise in how to do Doom or Heavy metal the right way, and even the band’s decision to cover the Venom classic ‘Live Like an Angel (Die like a Devil)’ reflects this.

Many dismiss Venom; but the influence of the 3 beer swilling rock ‘n’ rollers from Newcastle who haplessly managed to influence a countless magnitude of bands looms large.

Whilst the band is primarily Averill’s baby, special mention should be given to guitarist Bones whose ghostly sense of melody and often thrilling lead work really elevates these songs to another level.

And new(ish) drummer Johnny King performs admirably behind the kit whilst filling some rather large shoes.

‘For Doom the Bell Tools’ is an excellent record that should see the band gain great acclaim and dispel any talk that this is a mere side project. Doom Metal done the right way with songs to back it up. Recommended.

4/5 – Tom Andrew ::: 27/02/17

  1. Excellent stuff altogether. I never really get excited by one track from an album I like to hear it in context but this is quality stuff.

  2. Cant wait to get the full ep in the mail. Didnt know mr king got the job after ciaran. If this is half as good as ‘hells matryrs’ then it will surely be sublime. What ive heard so far is ticking all my boxes anyway.

  3. I liked the first album so will pick this up and give it a spin when I get my hands on the wax.

    However, the title of this new one is awful and cheesy.
    Ye would expect something a bit better from a band with their experience.

  4. Seán, totally agree the title isn’t great. Still the music is excellent looking forward to the album in its entirety.

  5. Abandon All Hope Says:

    Fucking love this band cant wait for the release.. Anyone know if there will be an album release gig ?. Last time i saw them live was with Negative Plane in the voodoo.

  6. 2 tracks of noise and a cover would put this in the EP category surely?

  7. Abandon All Hope Says:

    Gave this a listen there now and there is only 2 savage tracks on it. Tweleve bells in salem and The world is doomed…The rest is pretty much crap..Majorly disapointed. Was hoping for more after the Mind blowing All Hells Matyrs.

  8. Eoin McLove Says:

    Listening to this now having just picked it up. Artwork is great. First track is a waste of space. Second track, first tune proper, is tedious. Fucking hell, lads! Listening to This World is Doomed now which I have heard a few times already and it’s much better. We’ll see what side B brings but seeing as side A has one good song it doesn’t bode too well overall. And it’s an EP! Two original songs, two intros and a cover ain’t an album in my world.

  9. Side B… Draped in Sepulchral Fog… I mean, just why! It’s two or three minutes of nothing using up valuable grooves on a record. Pathetic. Kind of a surprise then that Spines of Saturn turns out to be possibly the album’s highlight. Spaced-out weirdness that calls to my mind Wild Rocket (probably supposed to be a nod to Hawkwind but I don’t know them at all). It’s really really good! Venom cover at the end. Yeah grand… talk about a mess of an ep overall. Could have culled half of it and released a strong 10″!

  10. Eoin McLove Says:

    ^ that was me.

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