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   DOOMSWORD
Let Battle Commence
2003
Dragonheart
http://truemetal.org/doomsword


rating: 4/5

1. Heathen Assault
2. In The Battlefield
3. Woden's Reign
4. Deathbringer
5. The Siege
6. Blood Eagle
7. My Name Will Live On
Doomsword want to establish new criteria for epic metal in the future, and are well on their way with this new record. With the epic doommetal that refers to bands like Candlemass and Warlord, plus the Viking lyrics, I would never suspect an Italian band behind it. Well, luckily not all Italians want to play over-the-top-happy metal, some are Vikings at heart:) Esp. singer Deathmaster, who started this band in 1997.

Their mix of doommetal and epic battle hymns is more complex than you'd think at first. When the songs grow on you, you find more and more different things in them. Some songs I still find a bit too repetitive and can't hold my attention the whole time, but in general the songs have heavy riffs, great leads (I esp. love the solo in "Woden's Reign") and lots of extras like acoustic parts in "Heathen Assault" (followed by superheavy, emotional parts which make this song my favorite on the album) or samples of various battle sounds (like e.g. a horn in "In The Battlefield") that really give the whole album the perfect eerie atmosphere for the (lyrical) concept behind it. The production is right to the point, powerful but not too polished - bombastic at times and perfectly fitting the true metal feeling of the music. Unfortunately lead guitarist Guardian Angel II has left the band just before the release, to focus on his older band "Time Machine".

Deathmaster is telling the story of the Danish Ivarr the Boneless conquering the English city of York (Jorvik), not so much to glorify battle and the reputation of the Vikings, but moreso to contradict the official (Christian) historic writings about it. He tells the story from Danish as well as English sides on a personal level and with a lot of passion. This man may not be a technically top-notch singer and his typical voice is something you might have to get used to at first (I know I did), but he brings the songs with such passion that it's worth the effort. You can feel the determination in the words of both King Aella and Ragnar Lodbrok to their sons before the battle in "Heathen Assault" (increased by the acoustic parts) and the pain of the soldier who's apologizing to the woman he never saw (whose man he just killed) in "Deathbringer". The climax of the album is "Blood Eagle", telling of a pagan ritual performed by the Vikings on the defeated king incl. samples of churchbells and eagle sounds. After the last song "My Name Will Live On" the album ends in style with again the horn sounding. The atmosphere created by the music and all those sounds make the story so vivid that, instead of just listening to a CD, you feel as impressed as if you just saw a movie on the subject. Hats off!

submitted by Marlies 24.10.2003

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