Review Summary: While not re-inventing the musical wheel, Dagoba produce a good sophomore with a unique sound going for them.
France is not usually a country associated with metal and while bands like Gojira and Kalisia have became popular due to their unique twists and crossing of genres, metal remains as a whole mostly underground and relatively small. However, Dagoba could be added to that minute list of French bands who may break out of the underground and become popular outside their native country like bands such as Hacride, Amoseurs and Gojira.
Face The Colossus is Dagoba's follow-up and builds upon the basic aesthetics and blueprints that their debut laid down (What Hell Is About) which was combining pounding drums and machine-gun riffs with Industrial soundscapes and melodic overtones. Although the band wears its' influences on its sleeve such as Pantera, Fear Factory and Strapping Young Lad the band manages to create a sound that is both refreshing and physically crushing. After the short intro song 'Abyssal' which seems to plague every metal album now created and does nothing but add minutes, The title-track comes pounding through the speakers and somes up the bands sound in just over 5 minutes with pounding bass and powerful riffs blasting out with Industrial sounds providing the main melody which also proves one of the first crutches of the albums. Due to the production or overall effects used on the guitars, the sound created is very atonal and provides very fue memorable riffs throughout the duration of the album and instead rely on the industrial effects to provide the majority of the melody which stongly resembles work from Strapping Yound Lad and Zimmer's Hole.
The vocals are also a make-or-break for the band, while the harsh vocals are a run-of-the-mill hardcore shout similar to those of Misery Signals and Testament which helps add to the heaviness and overall are pleasant to the ear (as pleasant as screams can be) the clean vocals are mediocre at best and have somehow decreased in quality since their debut and sound as if they are barked out and suffer from a lack of range and too much studio effects being used in order for the vocalist to sound in-tune. Also throughout the album the vocals rarely alter from this formula and makes them become sterile and repetitive with only adopting different styles in 'Silence #3' with a soft croon and also features acoustic guitars being used, this is closest the album comes to a ballad and in 'The Nightfall And All Its Mist' incorporating a deeper growl which is similar to the vocal styling found in Death Metal with bands such as Cannibal Corpse and Immolation.
The drums are also relatively simple throughout the album, relying on basic rythmns and blast-beats to get the job done and rarely employing any interesting fills and while they help to create a thick atmosphere which the album relies on it would of been nice to hear the drums become more independent and perform some more interesting fills. Dagoba also rarely break away from the common formula of 'verse-chorus-verse' etc' and using melodic, clean chorus's in order to carry their songs, with more diversity they could create a more interesting sound and feel less formulaic.
Therefore in conclusion although Dagoba are not reinventing the musical wheel and providing music that will stun listeners and this may prove to be an interesting listen to those who enjoy Pantera and Fear Factory but wish for more industrial soundscapes to be used within their sound. Dagoba will also appeal to those who just wishing for a crushing listen to bang your head along to. If Dagoba continue to perfect their unique sound they may be able to break out of the French underground and bring their music to the masses.
- Powerful harsh vocals
- Melodic Industrial overtones
- Interesting sound
- Repetitive and not much replay value
- Mediocre clean vocals
- Not amazingly unique