Monday, March 24, 2014

Dread Sovereign - All Hell's Martyrs

When it comes to doom metal, I tend to be a bit picky. I love the classic bands like Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, old Trouble, and of course, Sabbath but some of it seems to just drone on and bore the fuck outta me. So now we have veteran metal frontman Alan Averill's newest band Dread Sovereign and their debut full length, All Hell's Martyrs. This guy seems to be working overtime lately with his main band, Primordial, still going strong as well as fronting all star trad metal band Twilight of the Gods. While the former band is a classic in the celtic folk/black metal genre the, latter seemed to be a little too average for the talent that's involved. What we have here is vastly different than those bands as this is epic doom metal.

After an intro we have the first proper song called "Thirteen Clergy." This song is epic doom metal at it's finest. The riffs are crushing and the drums, provided by Primordial drummer, Simon O'Laoghair, are just insane. This is the doom metal that I like. Alan Averill's vocals are eerie and evil sounding fitting the music perfectly. At this point it seems that this album will be promising. Going into the next song I was rather disappointed. "Cthulhu Opiate Haze" is a long one, 10:29 in length, and it seems to be a bit too long as it tends to plod along in places. There are some great doom riffs in this song but it just seems to go nowhere. There's a brief psychedelic part in the middle of the song that seems out of place then picks up right after then just plods to an end. I'm sure a lot of doom fans will love this, but it's just too slow and I lose interest after a while.

It seems that this album bounces back and forth between the shorter songs and the longer songs with a couple of interludes thrown in. The shorter songs are the best, IMO. One of these shorter songs, "Pray to the Devil in Man," is the same as the opener, crushing riffs and evil vocals but does not seem to drone on and keeps my attention. It's not longer than it should be. "Scourging Iron" and "Cathars to Their Doom" are the same way, hammering doom riffs with that are epic as fuck without being too long and Mr. Averill's eerie vocals fit the songs perfectly. Then songs like "We Wield the Spear of Longinus" and the closer, "All Hell's Martyrs, Transmissions from the Devil Star" just seem to just plod along in places although the latter does not seem to make me lose interest as fast. I'm not sure why they chose to make these longer songs so much slower but I guess it's just a matter of taste. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against long epic songs but they need to keep me interested.

There is major talent on this album but it just seems a bit inconsistent to me. It's not a bad album by any means. I guess some of these songs go into the category of doom that I just can't get into. I'm sure this album will appeal to your die hard doom fan as the musicianship is top notch. I guess you'll have to pick it up and judge for yourself.


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