Dread Sovereign – All Hell’s Martyrs

Dread Sovereogm


This Irish doom trio, Dread Sovereign, contains members of black-metal outfit Primordial, who’ve played a couple doomfests themselves, but I have never seen or heard Primordial before, so that has no bearing on this particular review.  I can only assume that their stage names are carried over from their primary outlet, however… cuz stage names don’t belong in doom (unless you’re Wino or Messiah).

Anyways, this first full-length is fairly lengthy, 67 minutes and change, and it seems the Satanic black metal lyrics have also been carried over, judging by these song titles.  After a two-minute, spoken-word intro, “Thirteen Clergy” delivers the same style of downtrodden doom as Demon Lung or The Devil’s Blood, albeit without the female vocals.  Nemtheanga, as he is known, certainly shows traces of an Irish brogue, but also adopts a sinister sneer somewhat akin to Bobby Liebling when not bellowing more biliously.  But Pentagram this is not; more of a modern-day Candlemass, if anything.

 “Cthulu Opiate Haze” is a little more spacey, maybe more mid-period Zoroaster, while a similarly gloomy atmosphere pervades “Pray to the Devil in Man,” what with its bizarre chanting and whatnot.  The intro to “Scourging Iron” actually gives off a bit of a Neurosis vibe, especially in the drumming, while 11-minute epic “We Wield the Spear of Longinus” could probably pass for post-sludge, too — with several “Hail Satans” thrown in for good measure.

That said, while this album has moments here and there that bring such stellar bands to mind, I can’t say the whole thing is all that memorable.  Decent, but not outstanding.

(Ván Records)

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for Hellbound.ca.

7.0 Rating