Deathmaster of Doomsword has
one of the most unique voices in metal, and it's the first thing thing you think
of when someone mentions the band. So the first time I listened to this album, I
was like "What the hell?" Deathmaster's vocals are a lot more gruff, with his
previous vocal style relegated more to back-up support. A major disappointment.
However, as I listened to the album again (and again and again), I eventually
was able to move past it. The gruff vocals are still good, and the interjected
"old" vocals appear at all of the right spots. He's still able to bring some
cool melodies, even if they're a bit more muted than before.
Musically, the album is very good, though it lacks the standout tracks that
seemed to put My Name Will Live On in the upper class of traditional metal. It's
remarkably consistent though, and there's beauty in the subtlety. It's got a
slower, smooth pace to it and tracks like "Song of the Black Sword" and "Warlife"
have some excellent riffs on them.
I suppose the best way I can put it is that the sum of the parts is greater than
the whole. When I listen to My Name Will Live On, I jump around a bit, but this
album I want to listen to it from front to back. Every track brings something to
the table. Doomsword fans are probably going to scoff at this one a bit on first
listen, but if you give it a chance, it will reward you. And if this is your
first foray into Doomsword, it should provide the gateway to check out their
older stuff (which is well worth doing).