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Review: Doomsword - Doomsword

Label: Underground Symphony
Year released: 1999
Duration: 47:26
Tracks: 8
Genre: Doom Metal


Review online: August 16, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 4.43/5 (88.7%) (23 Votes)

At last, at last! Took me forever to get ahold of this, the debut of one of my favorite bands. After picking up their last CD "Resound the Horn" I became an instant Doomsword fan and embarked on a quest to get my hands on this, their first album. And finally, thanks to Century Media mailorder of all places, I have it.

I expected this to sound different from the excellent "Resound", but I had heard nothing but good things about it, so I also expected it to be cool. Well it is, cool I mean, but it is different. While "Resound the Horn" displayed a slower, doomy groove, this one is much more in a traditional/epic metal vein similar to Manilla Road, Warlord, or Cirith Ungol. There is still that distinctive Doomsword riff style, and you can hear the beginnings on this disc of musical ideas that came to full realization on the follow-up, but the songs as a whole are more up-tempo, though still not fast by any means. Like its successor, "Doomsword" rumbles out epic after epic, with five out of eight songs over the six-minute mark. I would have to say the production here is not as good as on "Resound the Horn", with the guitars mixed a bit low, but the sound isn't bad by any means. Vocalist Nightcomer has a clear midrange style that carries the music well, though I actually prefer Deathmaster's vocals on the follow-up.

This is just a cool CD. There isn't a single bad track on here, and the good tracks – "Helm's Deep", "One Eyed God", and "Swords Of Doom" – are all first rate epic metal songs with catchy choruses and riffs so hooky they could catch fish. Doomsword have this unmistakable rolling riff style that's hard to describe, but is impossible to forget and turns every tune into a headbang-fest from start to finish.

This is a digipack, but about as nice as a digipack gets. It's sturdy, and the cover is this gnarly faux-leather texture with embossed gold-foil lettering in a gothic font. Very cool-looking. The lyrics are included, as well as some good interior art. Lyrical themes, as you can probably guess from the tracklist, include War, metal, The Battle of Helm's Deep, and Elric of Melnibone'. For those who don't know, "Nadsokor" is a Cirith Ungol tune, reworked and very cool.

So this rules, and for fans of epic metal is a sure bet. If you liked "Resound the Horn", this is a little different, but the essential Doomsword sound is still here, and these are some highly cool songs. With their new one ("Let Battle Commence") due out in a month or so, Doomsword are poised to claim a unique place among epic doom metal bands. An original and excellent disc from a fine band, highly recommended to fans of the genre.

More about Doomsword...
Review: Let Battle Commence (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Let Battle Commence (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: My Name Will Live On (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Resound The Horn (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Eternal Battle (reviewed by Joseph Allen)
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