The scream at the start of "The Things Within" is probably one of my top 10 favorite moments in music ever. The way Shawter holds his abnormally strong and loud scream for about ten to eleven seconds without losing any momentum is magnificent to hear. With chugging machinegun riffs and fierce double-bass drumming backing up the scream, the start of the song is absolutely deific. The rest of "The Things Within" delivers too - amidst the mechanical chaos, a beautiful chorus arises and when the song is closed off with a sweet acoustic passage, shivers of joy will most likely run down your back. Listen to "The Things Within" once, and you already know you want this album. Why? Because the rest of the album is just as great.
The intense, industrialized, brutal sound, also courtesy of bands like Strapping Young Lad and Fear Factory, has been pushed to the max by Dagoba on their second LP What Hell Is About
. Straight from the get-go the listener is introduced to a thick wall of sound that mostly comprises of chugging rapidfire riffs and double-bass drum madness, coupled with all kinds of different cymbal blasts. All this results in a cacophonic musical chaos, that is only penetrated by Shawter's tough screams and yells. There aren't many breaks from this kind of formula (there's only one slower and cleaner song, titled "Cancer", plus a light interlude "042104"), but when the music is so good, who really needs breaks from it anyway?
There is a slight setback to What Hell Is About
, though. People who specialize on this kind of music will not be bothered by it at all, but others might. Namely, the question lies in slight repetitiveness. What Hell Is About
is a 45 minute ride that doesn't exactly let up, and while the rapidfire riffs are very well done, the vocals kick ass, and next to double-bass there are also some excellent drumming patterns, What Hell Is About
isn't an album that can be listened to back-to-back countless times. Loud guitars and a very heavy overall sound, while enjoyable, will eventually wear the listener down. What Hell Is About
isn't an easy album to listen to, but after you get used to the continuous assault on your senses, it is a very rewarding one.
Dagoba seem to have a real knack for choosing album titles, as their 2008 effort Face The Colossus
actually sounds like you are facing a colossus, and What Hell Is About
really gives the listener an idea what it might be about (if we cut out the satanic bull*** which is not found on this album). With this one, Dagoba have delivered an all-out onslaught on your senses, and what's best, the album actually has good replay value (mainly because Dagoba's riff structures are more diverse, compared to the above-mentioned bands Fear Factory and Strapping Young Lad). With two great records behind their backs, Dagoba are one of the more promising up-and-coming bands in the modern brutal metal scene.