Doombringer – The Grand Sabbath

It’s amazing how many idiotic reviewers, zines, and joke sites are out there these days.  It’s practically a pandemic of Buzzfeed-styled click-attacks, tag lists of bullshit, and further a lack of proper research.  With the power of the internet, really, is it so hard to study before you write?  Doombringer are a Polish black metal band that has nothing to do with doom, so stop yourself before you become like someone we know who we won’t even provide a hyperlink to directly criticize, because they don’t deserve it.  Read beyond mere letters, friends, read further, go further, learn more, become at one with knowledge.  Also, don’t look like an idiot, call it like it is, and understand it like it is.  The Grand Sabbath may be a bit overzealous in the title, but it checks off all the boxes, slows it down when necessary, and in the end proves a very simple fact about good black metal.  It all comes down to one thing.  Not any references you can pull out to impress your fans, and we won’t even bother with that here, it all comes down to the riffs.  If there be not riff, there be not black metal.


Doombringer bring it, they bring it all, all under the glorious power of riff.  The Grand Sabbath is impressive in its reliance on chord work that would feel dated if in the hands of a band without experience, but Doombringer has enough to easily bypass that barrier.  After forming in 2007, these guys released two demos, appeared on a comp, did an EP and split, disappeared for two years, and then gathered themselves together for a proper full-length, with all of that other stuff out of the way.  See, genius, they got all of the expected underground wisdom into their blood early, instead of mixing it in later and writing it off as a collection of B-sides or “stuff they forgot about”.  Demos, done, comp, done, EP, done, split, got it.  Now, it’s time for them to move on and show us what they’re all about, and oh yes here it is.


The Grand Sabbath needs not an explanation of its intricacies, because it’s not actually intricate.  Doombringer’s chord work is at once easy to grasp as it probably is easy to play, minus some of the repulsive solos.  The bass hangs like a limp vein spurting blood, the drums are falling to pieces, covered in rotting skin, and the guitars do the usual tearing of flesh with shrieks, yells, and wails filling in the necessary gaps vocally.  Sounds quite mundane, doesn’t it?  That’s the thing, it is, if we were discussing it on the level of basics, or if that’s all there was, in essence.  How many times must we say it?  Take something basic and make it magnificent, is it really so hard?  That’s what’s been done here.  You’re not going to find anything unique, what you’re going to find is what you want, and sometimes there’s nothing better.  Some of the chords in this one are entirely addicting.  Check out track two, “Ominous Alliance”, right around the middle.  That’s something you can spin endlessly, it will never tire, it’s timeless.  And doing that for an entire full-length is what we call near mastery.  The Grand Sabbath comes with no pretension, but it doesn’t need it.  Doombringer succeed because they write good black metal, and in the end that’s all it takes.  Of course, in the future, unusual takes on the genre would be appreciated, but for a first true full-length, we’ll take it.  It seems their work in getting all of that undergroundness out of their systems early on ended up for the better.  Also, got to dig the occasional moans of agony in this one, always a nice touch.


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Written by Stanley Stepanic

Doombringer – The Grand Sabbath
Nuclear War Now! Productions, Malignant Voices
4.5 / 5