Reviewed: January 2003
Released: 2002, Dragonheart
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
Lo, the Horn resounds, and Italian true-metallers Doomsword ride out to battle again. Fans of classic, doom, and epic metal alike take heed; this band is for you!
Three years have passed since Doomsword released their self-titled debut, an amazing slab of classic doom metal influenced by legendary acts such as Warlord, Cirith Ungol, Manilla Road, Candlemass, Bathory, and INTO GLORY RIDE-era Manowar. Since then, the band underwent a massive remodeling, coming back with a new line-up with only Deathmaster (vocals, guitars on the s/t) and Dark Omen (bass) remaining from the debut album’s lineup. New to the band is Guardian Angel II (lead guitar) The Forger (rhythm guitars), and Grom (drums). Obviously, the influence of Warlord has spread beyond the musical realm and into the band’s choice of pseudonyms.
With a name like Doomsword, one would expect a slow, heavy doom metal album, and that is, in part, what the listener gets with Doomsword. There is no sludge here, though, and Doomsword has much more to offer than just doom metal. The band draws more heavily on the original US true metal sound of acts like Warlord, Manowar, and Manilla Road for its dark, epic sound, mixing it with a bit of the Viking flair of mid-period Bathory.
The seven songs on this album are all fairly lengthy, most clocking in at over seven minutes in length. Some, like the opener “Shores Of Vinland,” and “The Doomsword” are pretty straightforward, slow doom metal, while others, such as “For Those Who Died With Sword In Hand” carry on the Warlord tradition with its galloping rhythm, and hypnotic lead melodies. Deathmaster’s handles the vocal duties quite well; his mid-ranged voice, clear but with a rough, unpolished edge, provide the power and emotion demanded by Doomsword’s style.
In addition to the above mentioned songs, “MCXIX” is another favourite of mine, a faster, smashing song with some killer lead guitar work, its heaviness accentuated by the deep toll of a gigantic bell. The absolute masterpiece of the album is its closer, “Resound the Horn: Odin’s Hail.” The main riff here is crisp and catchy, and the drums, though nothing special, fill in perfectly for this epic song of war that one must hear to believe. Absolutely amazing!
Doomsword hit a very high mark with their essential debut, and RESOUND THE HORN is almost as good, certain to make my top 10 list for 2002. Fans of true metal should not miss this album!
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