Album Review – Dread Sovereign “For Doom The Bell Tolls”


For Doom The Bell Tolls – Vinyl / CD / DD

Ván Records – RELEASE DATE: 3rd of March 2017


From the dark catacombs of Ireland and what could seemingly be the ashes of the doom/ black metal legends PRIMORDIAL,

A.A. Nemtheanga//Bones//Johnny King have come together delivering the self-described ‘born-dead brainchild’ of Nemtheanga, named DREAD SOVEREIGN. Using his years of slaying & slashing on guitar, the blueprint presented is old-school doom/black metal, much in the vein of pioneers VENOM and BULLDOZER, loaded with everything we expect from a band with the time spent honing and perfecting this latest configuration is what keeps us coming back for more.


Band Shot


Opener and title track ‘For Doom The Bell Tolls’ is the perfect set-up for the rest of the record complete with the vortex of white noise and tolling bells as well as an undefined ominous presence that lurks just out of reach. Until you hear the pick-slide at the beginning of ‘Twelve Bells Toll In Salem’ you are just waiting for some sign of what lurks in the shadows from a distance. Nemtheana’s vocal piercing tells of the DREAD SOVEREIGN’s entrance to our world as commanded to embrace the UnderLord. All the elements of evil rising and the swirling mists of darkness permeate here and take you to the edge of the brimstone glowing from below the surface of this world. Clocking in at 13 minutes, this is the longest track but gives the listener ALL you need to know to grasp the story offered.

‘This World Is Doomed’ follows immediately after as the last of the twelve bells has faded off into the fog. Three measures of crunching chords are broken only by the call “Let’s GO” as the rhythm section belies the real intent to call out the disbelievers to ‘rack up another lie’ and ‘take another pill’ denying the impending as described by Nemtheana’s lyrical tale.

‘Draped In A Sepulchral Fog’ revisits the swirling, menacing white noise and tolling bells of the opener, leading you into ‘The Spines Of Saturn,’ a track that is reminiscent of 70’s space-rock with enough phase-shift used to make you think there is an orchestra of guitar pushing you directly into the halo of rings that surround this ominous planet. In MY opinion, this song could stand alone and is even stronger as surrounded by the rest of this album.


Live Shot of Band


Closing track ‘Live Like An Angel, Die Like A Devil’ is the perfect tribute to the band many say brought us TRUE Black Metal back when, VENOM. They don’t miss a note in a cover that would make Cronos proud!! While this may not signal the end of PRIMORDIAL, they did just release a live album in 2016, it is something welcomed and NEEDED in this market. DREAD SOVEREIGN have done exactly what they set out to do in their own words; “We have not intended to re-invent the wheel just to give it a good kicking in the true old evil metal fashion.” Mission accomplished boys…

Words by Ric “Sui-Syko” Dorr