Review by Sonny for Dread Sovereign - Alchemical Warfare (2021) Review by Sonny for Dread Sovereign - Alchemical Warfare (2021)

Sonny Sonny / January 30, 2021 / 1

Dread Sovereign were formed in 2013 and are the brain child of Primordial frontman A.A. Nemtheanga, who plays bass as well as providing vocals, the trio being completed by guitarist Bones and Conan drummer Con Ri (Johnny King). Musically, Dread Sovereign inhabit the borderland where doom metal meets traditional heavy metal that is inhabited by the likes of Cirith Ungol, The Gates of Slumber and Grand Magus. They alternate between doomy, slower material (She Wolves of the Savage Season, Viral Tomb) and uptempo anthemic metal (Nature Is the Devil's Church, Devil's Bane) all wrapped up in occult imagery and lyrics. The songs are strongly constructed and this album contains some of their most memorable material to date - the promo track Nature Is the Devil's Church, for example, is almost impossible for any red-blooded metal fan to get out of their head after hearing it even just once. There are some nicely integrated solos that aren't merely an excuse for Bones to show off, but really add some great atmosphere to the tracks and Nemtheanga's voice is perfectly suited to just this style of metal. The production on AW is also a big step up from the muddier sound of their earlier releases and provides an increased depth that seems to make the tracks more immediate. Disappointingly, the album closes on a cover of Bathory's You Don't Move Me (I Don't Give a Fuck) that is remarkably similar to the cover of Venom's Live Like an Angel, Die Like a Devil that closed the previous album For Doom the Bell Tolls and isn't really necessary.

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