Dogbane – Idylls Of Woe
Heaven and Hell Records
Release Date: 19/07/2019
Running Time: 35:46
Reviewed by Tammy Lomax
Dogbane are a Metal/Rock/Doom band from North Carolina. Over a few jars they decided to form in 2010 and their first album “Residual Alcatraz” was released in 2011.
The inspiration that drives them was their 70’s and 80’s upbringing, the time where it all began for metal music. They may not use any special tweaks to manipulate their sound, but that’s the whole point. It’s raw and it’s original. They have also suffered heartache, when their guitarist David Ellenburg tragically passed away after having a stroke back in 2012.
During this time, Dogbane managed to release an official music video for ‘Ride The Serpent’ and then a year later, in 2013; Jeff Rinehart honourably took David’s place as lead guitarist.
They then went on and played Ragnarökkr Metal Apocalypse in Chicago with headliner Riot V in April 2014. Furthermore, they had the opportunity to appear on the Versailles Records release “Rock & Roll All Nite: A Tribute To Kiss”.
Heaven and Hell Records then released “When Karma Comes Calling” which opened many doors of opportunity for Dogbane. In September 2016 they appeared at Thou Shall Rock, a 2-day festival supporting headliners Demon Eye and Salvación.
Now we have their third full-length album “Idylls Of Woe”
‘The One I Was Warned Of’ opens “Idylls Of Woe” and takes me back to when I used to have a beer in a biker’s club years ago. It’s upbeat for sure. Jeff Neal’s vocals remind me a little of the late David Bowie. It is a great opener, although there are a few weak beats in the background!
Next track ‘Devil’s Tramping Ground’ kicks in with some more force. I am fond of Dogbane’s doom edge mostly; they manage to slip in some guitar pig snorts and it tickles my fancy. The vocals are catchy, and the guitar solos work ok.
Third track ‘Blood In The Snow’ has a great intro! It really made me giggle. There are some great tempos, guitar solos and drumming throughout this track. You feel like you are on a hunt. It’s simple but very effective.
‘Riddle Of Steel’ is next and YES!! More bass please! I salivate if a track opens with bass, my ears royally prick up and you get my attention straight away. Just like a meerkat! This track feels really doomy, like heavy and rusty old doom. I picture myself head banging to the rhythm of the beat and that sound is genuinely really cool. The odd switch throughout this track is well done and I like the dynamics.
“Land Of Shadows” is definitely a slower version of early Metallica all the way. The guitar riffs and block beats of the drums are quite similar to Hetfield and co. It’s really good. I do feel the vocal fader doesn’t really work in this track, purely because it feels misfired and out of place with the real earthy chunky sound but then you are hit with that real doom vibe again, it’s so good, you forget about the fader.
Next up is ‘Now You Know’. It begins in a very similar fashion to ‘Land Of Shadows’, it slips in those cheeky pig snorts again and then, bang, the guitar solo comes in. I like this track’s stability as it is much more steady and easy to follow.
‘Winter Of Man’s Demise’ is also a good track. There’s no mucking around with this track. It’s pretty cool. It has a real doom laden start, which these guys have got spot on. It’s probably my favourite part to their whole sound. The track is slow and steady, the vocals are spot on and it glues together well. It’s really basic but you flow with their pace. The strumming on the guitars is really strong and when the beat picks up it is great. It has an ‘80’s best dad guitar solos of all time’ vibe!
‘Sin Eater’ is a straight up classic Rock/Metal song and a good ending to “Idylls Of Woe”; although I am personally a little gutted they didn’t add more doom into this track though.
In general, Dogbanes sound is good although, throughout the album, there are times when I feel they are trying to cram too much in at one time which gives the impression of it being a touch sloppy. Maybe some spacing out could have helped a little.
This is not altogether my style of music but do you know what? Sod my opinionated ears! These guys have gone through a crazy journey and obviously enjoy what they are doing. They are keeping the original, core root, of metal alive and I wish Dogbane the best of luck in their future endeavours!
01. The One I Was Warned Of
02. Devils Tramping Ground
03. Blood In The Snow
04. Riddle Of Steel
05. Land Of Shadows
06. Now You Know
07. Winter Of Man’s Demise
08. Sin Eater
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