Friday, October 2, 2015


by MMB
When Karma Comes Calling
Heaven and Hell Records
Release: 16 April 2015
Dogbane’s music solves one of the most annoying aspects of doom in 2015: the knucklehead obsession with playing slow songs for its own sake. In particular, in 2015, metal is very much overcrowded with forms of doom. So many bands do not even have actual riffs; so many bands seem happy with themselves playing any old chord that is slow and they might as well be playing the same chord for the entire album. Actually, that’s probably what’s happening in some instances: some of those bands could be cutting and pasting the same slow segment over and over for 20 minutes. They call that “epic.”
Yeah, right.
In contrast, Dogbane has songs and these songs rock. More precisely, Dogbane features a Sabbath/Trouble-inspired guitar sound, but the principle at work is that Dogbane’s doom is also traditional heavy metal. It is as if Dogbane loves Sabbath, Trouble, Pentagram, Candlemass, Saint Vitus, the foundational doom bands, but Dogbane cancels out the excessively boring, slow aspects of doom by employing the Judas Priest songwriting format: heavy metal should rock. Dogbane also has a very detectable classic rock lining, in the sense of Thin Lizzy or Blue Oyster Cult, which makes the songs way more fun than doom has the right to be. The band does not sound like classic rock per se; they’re too heavy for that; somehow, in little ways, they inject bits of classic rock and it does wonders for their sound. For instance, adding a bit of cowbell (I think that’s what that is), like on “Devil by the Horns,” makes the vibe more fun. The vocals and certain rhythms have a bit of that rock and roll, too.
You can be sure that Dogbane is not trying to trick you. They got riffs. They got songs. They got the goods. I need to say it again: they also rock. This is not slow metal. Listen to Candlemass or Witchfinder General’s “Death Penalty” or Count Raven’s “Destruction of the Void” or Trouble’s “Trouble.” Those albums are not all slow music. They have rocking. I think that Dogbane is more in line with that tradition.
the band (from Facebook)
Mitchell Allred- guitars
Jerry Cloer- drums
Kevin Davis- bass
Jeff Neal- vocals
Jeff Rinehart- guitars
Residual Alcatraz Full-length 2011
When Karma Comes Calling Full-length 2015

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