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Truly epochal. - 98%

Empyreal, October 15th, 2009

Doomsword are one of the finest metal bands to ever walk the Earth. This statement is one I will defend vehemently, and how better to do so than with a hulking, triumphant and kingly slab of molten fucking steel like Let Battle Commence on my side? Yes, this is perhaps the greatest aid of everyone who fights in the name of Heavy fucking Metal, a giant metaphorical broadsword to the nads of every poser who ever lived, and quite a somber and exquisite experience, at that. A great double-headed axe to the heads of those who worship at the altar of false metal and a hymn to fallen Viking warriors on a blooded battlefield aeons away, both at the same time. What exactly is so good about this mighty album? Well, put on your helmets, don your chain mail, rally the troops and let's dig in!

The musical base of Let Battle Commence is one of massive riffs, Earth-shaking leads and triumphant, proud battle cries over it all. It's technically a Doom Metal sound, but really it's sped up to more of a Traditional Heavy Metal one, without the sort of fuzzy, drugged-out groove of a lot of Doom bands and more of a tendency to just skip the bullshit and play heavy, riff-driven songs. The guitar tone is great; meaty, heavy as a hammer and louder than hell. It’s so thick that it’s just about got a fur coat over it. The drums are huge, the bass is murky and distorted to a fine, Earthly breath and the vocals are awesome – limited, yes, but they’re just so deep and barbaric, yet also classy and prideful that they become great.

Throughout the duration of Let Battle Commence, Doomsword crafts sweeping, epic landscapes of metallic sound and makes them work, and the result is something so passionate and enflamed with patriotic triumph that its beauty is unnatural in its pristine clarity. I mean, good fucking god. It wasn’t enough for them to write some of the greatest doom riffs since Pentagram and Sabbath penned their drugged out odes. This band went the extra mile and wove them together with wistful, misty Pagan melodies that are subtle, but crafted really well, and played with pomp and pride. The epic scope here is just enormous, and I go on a lot longer about it, but it wouldn’t do this material justice, not in the least. Just listen to the pounding opening war-march of “Heathen Tribes,” or the massively gratifying, exhilarating stomp of “Wodan’s Reign,” or the beautiful title track, and tell me that isn’t some of the best metal you’ve ever heard. Just try it.

This is metal for the mature. Listen to it, headbang to it, relish in its glory.

Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com