Review Summary: "Ocean" Metal from the watery land of Michigan
Music festivals are amazing things. The ability to see many bands and artists in a amount of time dedicated solely to music is a great way to explore the many realms of music and to introduce yourself to artists that you maybe would never have seen or even heard of. Such was the case of Michigan based “Ocean Metal” band Dagon.
It was late at night at Cornerstone Festival 2009, and my friend and me were wandering the small stages looking for a band to catch our eye. We came to the tent that was featuring bands off the Bombworks label, and decided to try our luck with a little known band called Dagon. Expecting a poor show, since most of the bands on this stage had been hilariously bad, we were surprised to hear a very solid death/black metal band that played what it called “Ocean Metal”.
Having lyrics relating to nautical adventures, but play a style similar to melodic death metal, Dagon combines melodic guitar riffs, rapid drumming, and a dual vocalist approach to create a wall of sound, which like the ocean tide, catches you and eventually pulls you under. Their second full-length record Terraphobic
, is a up and down affair, with some unique elements and some standard fare.
Musically Dagon employs the usual melodic guitar riffs over a crushing backdrop of heavy rhymtm guitar and bass and drums. The guitarists are talented, throwing speedy tremelo and off-tempo riffs left and right. The bass is inaudible as on nearly all metal records, and the drumming is your standard metal fare, mostly consisting of double kick and snare with some interesting fills thrown in here and there.
So what separates Dagon from their peers? Their dual vocalist approach, with the bassist providing the growls, and the drumming doing the high shrieks, creates a interesting kaleidoscope of sounds that provides variety amidst the similar sounding tracks. This is indeed this album’s most glaring fault: it is repetitive. Maybe it is just me, but I found it hard to sit through the entire eleven songs of Terraphobic
. Songs tend to sort of mesh into one another after you listen to a few, which may irk some listeners.
Dagon is a relatively unknown band, who, with some more variety in their songs could become a staple in the melodic death scene. I recommend going to see them live before you buy the album, as they put on a very fun live show, and are one of the few bands I have seen that are actually better live then on album, but if you cannot catch them live, or are a real fan of melodic death metal, then pick up Terraphobic