Alan Averill aka Nemtheanga of Irish metal band Primordial is a busy man. Not only is he putting the finishing touches on Primordial’s latest album to be released this year, he has also recorded and released two side projects, the classic sounding old school metal band Twilight of the Gods Fire on the Mountain and Dublin based doom trio from Hell, Dread Sovereign‘s full length (the band released a 12″ We Pray to the Devil in Man” in 2013) debut album All Hell’s Martyrs. Joined by his Primordial drummer Dubh SOL and guitarist Bones ( Wizards of Firetop Mountain) the album is an ode to the old school raw doom metal bands of the 80’s including Venom, Saint Vitus, and Cirith Ungol. If you are a a doom metal aficionado then you will enjoy this album immensely.
The album begins in twisted and bizarre fashion with Drink the Wine, a eerie spoken word intro featuring the audio recording of infamous Guyana cult leader Jim Jones addressing his followers stating, if we can’t live in peace then let us die in peace before committing mass suicide. If that’s an indication of what’s to come on the hour plus doom metal masterpiece may the Devil have mercy on your soul. The album officially kicks off with the metal dirge of Thirteen Clergy, a doom metal anthem if there ever was one. The bass line is brutal and dark, setting the tone for a atmospheric journey to the depths of Hades. Averill’s vocals have a classic Ozzy Osbourne (early Black Sabbath era, not the over produced and vocal effects laden Ozzy of the last 20 or so years) feel to them but with an aggression and passion that Oz could never hope to deliver. The trippy doom sludge of Cthulu Opiate Haze is next clocking in at over ten minutes of mind blowing evil glory.
The album is broken up with short intros and interludes which set the table for the main course of crushing doom riffs. The short intro Devil’s Venom bleeds into Pray to the Devil In Man. The thick bludgeoning bass sound of Scourging Iron and We Wield the Spear of Longinus is simply and devastating in it’s dark evil majesty. The droning guitars and crushing rhythms of Cathars To Their Doom will bring about memories of early doom forefathers Candlemass. By the time you get to the albums grand opus, the rumbling title track All Hells Martyrs. Transmissions From The Devil Star you will be totally immersed in the Dread Sovereign experience, letting the sonic wave wash over you like a bloodbath of wickedness and desolation. It’s hard to believe this is classified as a side project. Dread Sovereign have the potential to be a game changer in the world of doom metal. If the band ever grace the shores of the U.S. concert stages, prepare to have all Hell unleashed upon the unsuspecting metal masses.