At last I have the third and latest release from DOOMSWORD, currently my favourite Italian band, and one of the finest Epic Metal bands ever. I have been a huge fan of this band ever since I got my hands on "Resound The Horn", and acquisition of their debut from 1999 only served to whet my appetite for this album, which promised to be another Epic Metal feast for the ears. I am happy to report that "Let Battle Commence" lives up to that promise with ease.
Fans will be happy to note that DOOMSWORD have not changed their basic style, only enhanced and improved on it. "Let Battle Commence" is brimming over with those cool signature DOOMSWORD riffs and leads. A CD this long with only seven tracks is obviously a collection of loooong songs, and DOOMSWORD still pound forth with the epic crunch they are known for. The production this time around is MUCH better than on their last 2 albums, and the band sounds positively huge - at last a production job to match the epic scale of the compositions.
I have to say the songwriting is less immediate and accessible than on either of their previous efforts, and the riff structure is busier and more technical as a whole. On previous albums DOOMSWORD had a tendency to go on a bit, using the same riffs to space out long compositions, but here the sound is denser, the songwriting and the playing more aggressive. Album opener "Heathen Assault" is a perfect first track for this album, as it showcases the slight changes in DOOMSWORD's sound since the last CD. Starting with an acoustic intro, then segueing into hammering riffs and a stomping chorus. As a band, DOOMSWORD have never sounded this tight, and Deathmaster (now concentrating solely on vocals) has really come into his own as a singer.
So while not as instantly catchy and addictive as "Resound The Horn", "Let Battle Commence" is DOOMSWORD come of age, and the quality and maturity of the work cannot be denied. That a band can overcome the obstacles this one has had to deal with and still release an album of such high quality is an inspiration to all true Metal bands, and a spit in the eye of every poser. Raise your sword and sound the horns, and let DOOMSWORD lead the charge. (Online October 4, 2003)