DoomSword - Let Battle Commence
DragonHeart / SPV
Epic Doom Power Metal
7 songs (52'37")
Release year: 2003
DoomSword, DragonHeart
Reviewed by Alex

Webster Dictionary suggests the following definition for the word epic: “extending beyond the usual or ordinary, especially in size and scope” and “a long narrative poem in elevated style recounting the deeds of legendary or historical heroes”. I am quoting this for two reasons – the readers asked to define “epic” before and because I needed it to describe the latest album by Doomsword. I was very intrigued by some of the things I heard about Resound the Horn, but was not familiar with this Italian band otherwise. Yet, I picked up the newest digipack album Let Battle Commence and didn’t regret one second of it.

If there is a difference between “true” and “cheesy” epic, Doomsword epitomizes the “true”. They tell us the story (although not in the great deal of detail) of the 866 year invasion of England by the Danish forces commanded by Ivarr the Boneless, son of Ragnar. As a huge history fan, I can assure you, such invasion did take place, the album is based on real history. Danish Vikings indeed ruled York for quite a while after that with King Knut being the sovereign. And, as if picking the queue from the pagan barbarians, Doomsword creates their album stripped of orchestral elements, practically raw, as opposed to some other famous Italian metallers. Yeah, if you fly unicorns and fight imaginary evil, you play the violin and have a female choir. If you are about to spill some Christian blood, you bring your crunchy guitar riffs and tremendous rhythm section. (OK, OK, this was not an attempt to put Rhapsody down).

The last time an epic album impressed me so much was Moonsorrow Voimasta ja Kuniiasta, and before that Bathory Hammerheart. If you still believe that One Rode to Asa Bay was the greatest epic song ever written, I strongly recommend you get in line for the Doomsword latest, and don’t forget to read the lyrics.

As opposed to Bathory and Moonsorrow, Doomsword specializes in clean vocals. Deathmaster, one of the original founding members, has a strong clean voice. His timbre is simply perfect for the style of music Doomsword plays. When he stretches himself “Odin Guide My Sword” on In the Battlefield, I get the chills. I wish he had more moments like this on the album and strayed further into the highs. No, I wouldn’t want a stratospheric yelp, but a powerful manly note.

Guitars of Doomsword churn out the riffs you would unfold your battle banner to (the opener of Deathbringer is unbelievable). Crunchy is the only word I can come up with at this hour, and it is an overused term. If you want an example of the Doomsword guitar, go to the trough of the old Swedish school spearheaded by Candlemass, Tad Morose (of old) and Memory Garden. This is what I call power doom without funeral melodies, but instead, with the listener’s ear positioned right between a hammer and an anvil. The Forger crunches and Guardian Angel II throws in some drawn out leads. A minor complaint, rarely on the album guitar leads go along with vocals – it is always one or the other. I am intrigued how Deathmaster higher register notes would sound along the lead melodies.

The rhythm section of Dark Omen (bass) and Wrathlord (drums) is nothing short of spectacular. Those Moonsorrow pounding war drums have been replicated. They sound like the hooves of a pack of Clydesdales converging on a target. Every beat is as powerful as the next one – there is no letting up.

Doomsword proceed at just above mid-pace and they also use sounds of clinking swords and horns calling to battle, but they are not as folky as Moonsorrow. The latter and Tyr use their native land melodies to fill out some of the spaces in the songs, so their records don’t have gaps and repetitions. Such approaches sometimes call for acoustic interludes or more balladic moments. Doomsword does not resort to that, and some listeners might find them more monotonous. Repeated listens, however, will uncover more and more of subtle undercurrents which will grab your attention.

Cover art completing the medieval feel, this album is not to be missed by those who like both power and doom metal genre.

Killing Songs :
One big epic that you to need to hear as a whole
Alex quoted 89 / 100
Jeff quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by DoomSword that we have reviewed:
DoomSword - Doomsword reviewed by Thomas and quoted 92 / 100
DoomSword - My Name Will Live On reviewed by Jeff and quoted 75 / 100
DoomSword - Resound The Horn reviewed by Mike and quoted 74 / 100
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