Dread Sovereign - For Doom The Bell Tolls album review

Primordial frontman creates some glorious grief

Cover art for Dread Sovereign - FOR DOOM THE BELL TOLLS

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Adopting the moniker given to King James by passengers on the Mayflower, Ireland’s Dread Sovereign recorded their latest opus in a mere six days (presumably they rested on the seventh…). Something of an underground supergroup, the trio are Primordial frontman Alan ‘Nemtheanga’ Averill and Wizards Of Firetop Mountain guitarist Bones plus new recruit Johnny King from Altar Of Plagues, and they describe the cheekily titled For Doom The Bell Tolls as a record that’s “about as live as you can get”.

Comprising six tracks – one of which is a fun, faithful but ultimately fairly throwaway rendition of Venom’s Live Like An Angel, Die Like A Devil – the LP is a chilling and thrilling listen that’s heaving with diabolically good vocals and Iommi-flavoured riffs. Twelve Bells Toll In Salem may be their finest hour yet and is a 13-minute-long, spellbinding masterpiece that tells the tale of Sarah Wildes, née Averill, who was hanged as a witch – and who might be a distant relative of the band’s singer. The bass-driven The Spines Of Saturn meanwhile, sees a welcome addition of space rock.