CD review DREAD SOVEREIGN ‘Alchemical Warfare’

It was Primordial singer Nemtheanga who started Dread Sovereign in 2013, a band dedicated to doom-oriented metal. Already in their founding year, a first EP was released with ‘Pray to the Devil in Man’ which acted as a springboard for the debut album. ‘All Hell’s Martyrs’ is the title of the mentioned first album which brought substantial attention to the band.

While the first two albums were released via Vàn Records, it is Metal Blade Records that is now releasing LP number three. Dread Sovereign, that are next to Nemtheanga also his two fellow band members Bones and JK. Their new record ‘Alchemical Warfare’ contains nine tracks which can be described as brilliant all the way from the beginning to finish.

The trio starts their new longplayer with the intro ‘A Curse on Men’ before a first fortress of riffs is built with ‘She Wolves of the Savage Season’. Extremely pushing, the song develops into a jaw-dropping one on an album not poor in highlights.

With ‘Viral Tomb’ the three build in a short interlude, followed by the grating ‘Devil’s Bane’. The latter is a grooving metal track which spreads a haunting darkness with its slow middle part.

Even though Dread Sovereign are more into slower riffs (‘Her Masters Voice’), they prove with ‘Nature Is the Devil’s Church’ that they can also deliver faster tracks to the point. The song is in strong contrast to the slow and epic ‘The Great Beast We Serve’, a track that was released as a single in advance of the album release.

Dread Sovereign has positioned with ‘Ruin upon the Temple Mount’ a nearly nine minute epos in the bottom part of the album’s tracklist. Atmospheric and yet hard and dark, it is a pleasant shiver that comes up when listening to the track. Things get livelier with ‘You Don’t Move Me (I Don’t Give Fuck)’ where the black magic of Venom is echoed. This song knows no compromise, which ultimately also applies to the entire album.

‘Alchemical Warfare’ is a first highlight in the new year 2021 and let’s hope that this is just the beginning.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. A Curse on Men
  2. She Wolves of the Savage Season
  3. The Great Beast We Serve
  4. Nature is the Devil’s Church
  5. Her Master;s Voice
  6. Viral Tomb
  7. Devil’s Bane
  8. Ruin upon the Temple Mount
  9. You Don’t Me Me (I Don’t Give a Fuck)

Label: Metal Blade Records

Genre: Doom/Epic Metal

Release Date EU: January 15th, 2021

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