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Title: Dagon / Terraphobic
Release date: April 21, 2009
Label: Bombworks Records
Cat No: BWR0905
Formats: CD / Digipak
File Under: Metal, Thrash, Death Metal
Thrash and death rises up from the deepest depths of the sea in the tour de force of Dagon. Hailing from Lansing, Michigan, Dagon has been playing
together for several years now, combining their infatuation with all things oceanic with their love of thrash, death, and good ol’ 80’s rock and roll. Rising
from the ashes of brutal metal band Bestiary, Dagon recorded an EP titled “Secrets of the Deep” which contained 5 songs of oceanic thrash anthems
with brutal vocals and killer guitar leads. The EP garnered the interest of Bombworks Records, resulting in the band’s first full length release
“Paranormal Ichthyology” in 2006, which garnered positive reviews and helped continue to cultivate the band’s rabid fan base. “Terraphobic” sees the
band’s song writing maturing even further, with killer melodies and catchy yet complex lyrics, fantastic drumming, in your face bass guitar, slick duelling
guitar leads and riffing, and the trademark duelling vocals of Randall and Truck (featuring both Cryptopsy-esque gutturals and black metal shrieks).
The CD was recorded at Random Awesome! Studios, which has already recorded CDs for labels such as Facedown Records, Blood & Ink Records,
and Torque Records. In addition to 10 brand new amazing metal anthems, the band has rerecorded fan favorite “Feeding Frenzy” from their EP. The
band draws influences from bands such as Dark Tranquility, Iron Maiden, Hypocrisy and Slayer, and the music is carried by a thrash base with
generous helpings of death, black and 80’s metal. Raise your sails, man the cannons, and get ready to do battle with the minions of the deep with
Dagon as your weapon of choice!
• Second full-length album
• 11 brand new songs
• 8-panel foldout deluxe digipak packaging
• For fans of Dark Tranquility, Iron Maiden Hypocrisy, and Slayer
• Reviews and advertising in major publications
• Active touring band
1. Cut to the Heart
2. Demons in the Dark
4. Wave of Predation
5. To the Drums We Rise
6. Full Speed Ahead
7. Into the North
8. The Last
9. The Sea Encompassing
10. Feeding Frenzy
11. Ocean Metal
DECIBEL MAGAZINE REVIEW
“Our kind of formulaic”
Lansing, MI’s Dagon are, simply put, badass guitar players. Whether or not you dig the variance of polished melodic thrash that these dudes excel at, there’s so much tasty riffage and white-hot shredding packed in this second full-length that any ’banger can find something to dig into. Evoking Dark Tranquillity, Arch Enemy, Hypocrisy, Iron Maiden and especially Lamb of God, the crafty riffs and groove-oriented drumming have been perfectly preserved in a well-produced package.
Most melodic thrash acts often have questionable vocals that interfere with the dexterous axe work (how about Nevermore and Shadows Fall for two easy examples?). Here, thankfully, Dagon deliver diverse, pissed scream-singing right on par with the nimble interplay. Drummer Jordan Batterbee and bassist Randall Ladiski mix it up between black metal shrieking and Randy Blythe-like barking. Standout tracks “To the Drums We Rise” and “The Last” maintain a nice balance between epic, melodic and dark (à la Arch Enemy); “The Last” contains the catchiest riff, with a bit that sounds like Maiden pirouetting with Mozart. If these dudes were on a higher-profile label, they’d be a surefire contender for second stage status on one of those big packaged “extreme” metal tours.
Oh, and being a Lovecraft freak, it is with great privilege that I announce that Dagon is the second band this writer reviewed this issue tipping the derby to ol’ H.P.—“Dagon” is a sea deity featured in one of Lovecraft’s earliest Cthulhu Mythos. —Shawn Bosler
BABBERMOUT . NET REVIEW
Lansing, MI's DAGON is a band that deserves exposure on a worldwide level. It is a shock that one of the premier metal labels hasn't snatched them up by now. Not to take anything away from Bombworks, a label that was smart enough to sign the band; the DAGON boys are just that good. I'm surprised it took me this long to find out about DAGON, the group previously releasing the "Secrets of the Deep" EP and the full-length Bombworks debut "Paranormal Ichthyology" prior to the excellent "Terraphobic". You'll be surprised too once you hear the roaring ocean metal of "Terraphobic".
That's right, "ocean metal." DAGON's ongoing lyrical themes are ocean-centric. Its tales of the deep are engrossing, especially when combined with a superbly written style of metal that fuses elements of IN FLAMES, DARK TRANQUILLITY, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, AMON AMARTH and IRON MAIDEN, to name only the most pronounced reference points. That doesn't even mean that every song is an amalgamation of each of these influences. What it does mean is that "Terraphobic" exemplifies DAGON's prodigious musical talent and skillful songwriting ability. Song after song is jam packed with smokin' hot thrash riffs, Swedish melo-death oomph, and a keen sense of melody that keeps one's attention for the entire 53-minute ride, which is no small feat for a group playing this brand of extreme music.
The songs work so damn well because DAGON makes every note played count and every section contribute to making the song metal to the bone and memorable to the brain. "Cut to the Heart", "Demons in the Dark", "Full Speed Ahead", you name it; each cut comes with the fire breathing riffs, twin leads, and ripping solos of Chris Sharrock and Briant Daniel; perfectly placed/meaty growls and active/full/audible bass playing from Randall Ladiski; and colorful/tight drumming and shriek-vocals from Jordan Batterbee. It could be the MAIDEN-meets-IN-FLAMES gallop of "Into the North" or the triumphant cadences (ala AMON AMARTH) of "To the Drums we Rise", every track giving you something to sink your teeth into. It all culminates with the album-closing, definitive DAGON anthem "Ocean Metal", which even includes some trad/speed-metal elements (particularly the "Halford vocals" of Batterbee). It is what 3 INCHES OF BLOOD might sound like if they played Swede melo-death/thrash.
As if that weren't enough, the production — courtesy of the band and Josh Schroeder – and recording/mixing/mastering at Bay City's Random Awesome Studios is first rate. It is beefy and sharp at once with an emphasis on instrument clarity, while still retaining a bloody raw edge. Heavy, memorable, and downright fun, "Terraphobic" is one of the year's true diamonds in the rough.
- Scott Alisoglu
OUTBURN MAGAZINE REVIEW
GOTHENBURG GUNSHOTS: Bless the hearts
of these Dagon dudes. While many acts have
cast their original influences and ideas by the
wayside in favor of the almighty dollar sign,
this quartet has stuck to its guns, writing and
releasing melodic death metal for many years
now, in one form or another. Writing and
recording under such monikers as Somber,
Bestiary, and Summer Dying, one thing has
always remained constant within the members
of Dagon—quality, consistent songwriting.
Terraphobic—the band’s second full-length
since forming in 2004—showcases all of their
collective talents, not the least of which are
the shredding skills of guitarists Briant Daniel
and Chris Sharrock. The tracks “Into the North”
and “Demons in the Dark” infuse the fine,
traditional metal influence of a band like Iron
Maiden into Dagon’s razor-sharp Hypocrisy/In
Flames style of steel, while the Tourniquet-like
thrasher “The Last” places bassist/vocalist
Randall Ladiski front and center, where the
frontman’s nimble fingers and versatile throat
do nothing but impress. A record without any
pretensions of style, Terraphobic provides a
substantial amount of musical ability and
songwriting acumen. The result is a sophomore
album of which many other acts of Dagon’s ilk
should be jealous. Thoroughly impressive.
~ George Pacheco