Dread Sovereign – Alchemical Warfare (Review)

It wasn’t all that long ago when we weren’t used to seeing established musicians who had been long part of landmark bands become part of a fresh new act as if there was some sort of a shame to be had in expanding your talents outside of more than one band. But, it’s the further into this century that we get that we’ve gotten an exponential increase in widely recognized musicians coming together and spreading themselves out to offer us something much more than what they could produce under any one name, and there haven’t been many people that have found themselves exempt from that rule. When it comes to Dread Sovereign, we’re quite spoiled with what we’ve gotten here being an extremely potent combination of many people from multiple grandiose names to grace our ears coming together to craft their third album that is no less than titanic.

As an act that brings together so many different sounds from all over everything that metal has become known for from its intoxicating classic sound to a more refined version of what doom has become recognized as, Dread Sovereign is a name that is not to be underestimated even if you only take this album into consideration without even thinking about what’s been done before it. “Alchemical Warfare” is the epitome of an album that brings together everything great about what all Dread Sovereign brings together from the classy heavy metal elements, uncompromising presence from doom, and even the occasional scathing intensity that black metal constantly brings forth has a part to play here as this entire record balances an incredibly delicate and precise balance between those and even a little more to enable the creation to be not just captivating, but enthralling well after it has ended. To sit here and say that the entirety of “Alchemical Warfare” is a gripping work that keeps you locked in place would be to put it mildly at best. The utter entirety of what Dread Sovereign has accomplished here isn’t surprising given the firepower that’s at play from the musicians, but it’s hard to get over just how massive “Alchemical Warfare” is even on the fifth listen, not to mention the twentieth, and that’s a true testament to what’s been crafting here more than anything else. Beyond the massive riffage, undeniable craftsmanship that can keep the listener rooted in place like a true masterwork in the making, and a clear passion and talent for the genre that shines through all nine of these songs to ultimately deliver us an experience that’s not just a damn good listen but thrilling, satisfying on another level, and downright fascinating to behold in every fashion.

I could sit here all day and talk about how much I think that Dread Sovereign might very well be delivering the first truly stupendous album of the year just barely two weeks in, but I will refrain from some remarks and simply ask as humbly as I can for you to go and listen to it the moment you can. Every single inch of “Alchemical Warfare” is not to be underestimated in any form as it’s a weaponized album that’s so much of everything that we’ve come to love from metal as a whole, and Dread Sovereign capitalizes that on a level that allows their talent, passion, and power to flourish gloriously!

“Alchemical Warfare” releases on January 15th via Metal Blade Records! You can pre-order the album via multiple sources here, and stream the single, “Nature Is the Devil’s Church”, on Bandcamp here or YouTube here.

Track Listing:
1. A Curse on Men
2. She Wolves of the Savage Season
3. The Great Beast We Serve
4. Nature Is the Devil’s Church
5. Her Master’s Voice
6. Viral Tomb
7. Devil’s Bane
8. Ruin Upon the Temple Mount
9. You Don’t Move Me (I Don’t Give a F*ck)