When I first heard this band’s 2011 debut, Residual Alcatraz, I immediately was hooked. Then when I saw them live at Ragnarokkr Metal Apocalypse a year ago, and saw that they were also a very competent and enjoyable live band, my anticipation for new music from them grew steadily. Finally four years after the debut, Dogbane are back with their sophomore effort. This band has that retro heavy rock meets doom vibe that has a real throwback feel to something out of the early 80s. There is definitely some hints of Manilla Road, Coven 13 and also Cirith Ungol in the mixture, which considering I am wearing the Paradise Lost tshirt as I write this, that may or may not be subliminal, hahaha. Either way Jeff Neai’s vocals are really reminiscent at times of The Shark and the guitar tone is definitely also in that same range. The production is not perfect, nor should it really be as it adds to the effect of really bringing the sound to that which you would hear back in the day. Speaking of the guitars, the riffing is very solid and the overall feel is nicely done, kudos to Jeff Rinehart and Mitchell Allred on a fine fine job. The drums and bass are likewise heavy, without dominating. Karma is calling, but so is this release, I think I am going to give it a lot more spins in the future!
Choice Tracks – Devil By The Horns, When Karma Comes Calling, Deceiver, Calm Before The Swarm, Free Spirit