Dread Sovereign - Alchemical Warfare review

Bandcamp music player

43 users:
Band: Dread Sovereign
Album: Alchemical Warfare
Release date: January 2021

01. A Curse On Men
02. She Wolves Of The Savage Season
03. The Great Beast We Serve
04. Nature Is The Devil's Church
05. Her Master's Voice
06. Viral Tomb
07. Devil's Bane
08. Ruin Upon The Temple Mount
09. You Don't Move Me (I Don't Give A Fuck) [bonus]

Primordial's Alan Averill takes a break from his podcasts and brings back the old school doom ethos in Dread Sovereign to properly kickstart the year.

It's still quite early in January, but we're at the point where more than half of the month has passed and we're still lacking in terms of really big releases. Those come later. So now even though we have the time to give some attention to some smaller up-and-coming bands who strategically released their albums in this gap, the biggest name to fill it is Dread Sovereign, the doom project of Primordial's Alan Averill. Though it surprisingly isn't the 2021 album with the most ratings so far, which certainly wouldn't have been the case if this was a Primordial record, we nonetheless feel compelled to talk about it. And when I say we, I mean me, but that's just a way of saying.

This is already the third Dread Sovereign sovereign album, so by now they should already be a pretty established name. Surprisingly, they didn't seem to get as good a reception as the "Alan Averill doing doom metal" concept would imply, as it happened with Twilight Of The Gods' "Alan Averill doing heavy metal" one. Honestly, Dread Sovereign isn't that far off from Primordial in that they're both fairly unique in the dramatic, passionate, and plodding takes on their respective genres. A lot of it comes from Averill's trademark vocals, which are certainly one of if not the best thing about both of these bands, but the backing instrumentation always had a penchant for long-winding atmospheres that contribute to said dramatic sense. And with Dread Sovereign's doom sound being closer to rowdy and raw doom as it was just emerging from heavy metal, but transported through some Bathory coatings and stretched to longer songs.

That long-winding nature doesn't always work, adding a bit of extra fat, but that's something that can always happen for a 50 minutes long album. That aspect would've been a lot worse given the almost jam-like nature of some of it, if the band itself didn't have such an organic chemistry between them. The longer songs are obviously more in the jammy doom vibe and the shorter ones are more in the muscular first wave of black metal one, and both work fairly well. The rawer production does add to the appeal of unearthing older forms of metal, but there's something a bit jarring that seems to keep the sound from sounding cohesive and I can't quite put my finger on it. At least the vocals always sound fantastic. Maybe in 10 years or so this will get remastered once the entire industry puts itself back on its feet. One can only hope.

And as per tradition, everything ends with a punky cover of a first wave of black metal song, in this case Bathory's "You Don't Move Me (I Don't Give a Fuck)". It doesn't really fit with the rest of the record and I wish more of its punk was incorporated in the record itself, but it's a nice change of pace. So even though it might benefit from some cutting and more time mixing, Alchemical Warfare still showcases a compelling alchemical mix of genres slightly less old than alchemy itself.


Written on 19.01.2021 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 61 users
19.01.2021 - 20:46
Sentenced Odiin
I do not know it is because of Alan's vocals or the 1st wave black vibe in his songwriting (maybe both), but for me, the best doom metal, what satisfy my taste. Great review, I also love the album's raw and old school sound, but agree with your last statement - a little more punk/rock n roll attitude could lift up the record even more.
Life has given me much, maybe taken more...
20.01.2021 - 15:31
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
He is irish Michael Michael Seifert, only Michael Seifert he has no doom band.
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
26.01.2021 - 19:21
Nice. I don't know how many times I've been meaning to check this band out and then... didn't, so now is as good a time as any. Besides, as long as Alan's on it, I want to hear it.

Hits total: 907 | This month: 72