I really like Dread Sovereign’s work, (see 2014’s All Hell’s Martyrs and 2017 For Doom the Bell Tolls), so listening to Alchemical Warfare was a must. Across 52 minutes the band kick out some of their best jams, so trust me when I say that if you’re at all into this style then you should make Alchemical Warfare a priority.
If you haven’t encountered Dread Sovereign before, then think gnarly old-school doom metal mixed with elements of first-wave black metal, gritty rock ‘n’ roll, and the occasional progressive touch. Alchemical Warfare is essentially a paean to a hybrid deity made up of Saint Vitus, Hawkwind, Venom, and Motörhead, expressed via raucous metal hymns.
The band mix the above elements together very well, producing songs that showcase a wide range of textures. This includes crushing doom, psychedelic instrumental workouts, intricate reflective passages, atmospheric mood-driven explorations, molten metal solos, and a whole lot else. The vocals, (once more provided by the singer of Primordial), are as charismatically performed as you would expect, and the delivery is as impressive as ever.
The music has been well-composed and does exactly what you would want it to. It’s clearly been written by people that know and love the style, with all of its warts. They have the talent and skill to not only reproduce this faithfully, but to put their own spin on it too. Each song has a lot of character and personality, and each of them has its own place on the album.
Dread Sovereign’s music channels the pure essence of honest, authentic metal. It’s full of not only attitude, but also great tunes, and can also be surprisingly emotive in places. This is a no-nonsense doom metal album that is so very satisfying to listen to and experience.