The metal world has never been majorly short of striking and often influential bands from Scotland and adding to that list of potent protagonists is Dog Tired. They are not newcomers as such having emerged in 2004 and have earned a strong reputation and loyal fan base for their riff driven metal but with new album, The Electric Abyss, they have revealed themselves ready to step into a far larger spotlight.
Hailing from Edinburgh, Dog Tired are described as “Merging the relentless brutality of Gojira and Entombed with the riff orientated assault of Pantera and Metallica.” It is a fair description for the band’s multi-flavoured metal but only hints at its voracious sound and presence. At times across their quartet’s latest release, it is a proposition which involves the familiar with their own imagination but persistently comes through speakers with a character and freshness individual to Dog Tired.
The Electric Abyss opens with its title track, the song looming out of sonic electronic mists with dark ominous shadows behind a foreboding breath. In swift time heavy ravenous riffs laid down their claim on an already eager attention, as quickly erupting in a predacious contagious stroll as rhythms equip the emerging track with their own imposing bait. The grouchily throated vocals of Chris Thomson in turn make for a vociferous incitement, growling across the wiry exploits of guitarist Luke James and the virulent rhythmic trespass of bassist Barry Buchanan and drummer Keef Blaikie. It is a persistent and rousing nagging which only proves more persuasive as imagination brings greater twists and richer atmospheric intimation.
It is an outstanding and impressive beginning to the album and never relinquished favourite track honours but harried for that positioned across The Electric Abyss and quickly proven by the following Flesh Church. Its visceral trespass is bred on a mix of death and groove voracity, everything slightly less urgent than within its predecessor but just as predatory and even more sinisterly emotive. There are moments when the track uncages its vigour but still there is a dark restraint which only helps thicken its lure before Dagoth’s Nine accosts the senses with its creative animus. Grooves and indeed vocals in part have a harmonious toning which escalates the inherent catchiness of the pugnacious assail escaping the craft and invention of the band.
Beyond The Grave provides the best beginning to any track within the release, its rhythmic incitement within almost perniciously alluring waves of sonic intimation pure temptation and only escalated as the bass unfurls its bestial and virulent provocation. The track’s expanding prowl continued to seduce from under the skin; its addictive lures and feral snares quickly and insistently compulsive as Thompson’s barbarous tones prey on song and senses alike as another major moment within the album is discharged,
The melodic elegance and calm of Aeon provides a magnetic respite and seduction from the voracious darkness before and after it, the instrumental a beacon in the surrounding storm which returns with almost carnal relish within Lord Of The Vile. From its deception of atmospheric tranquillity if one embracing dark whispers and portentous intimation, Slayer-esque riffs erupt as rhythms venomously pummel. Immediately a viral contagiousness invades ears and appetite, the outstanding track swinging and savaging with insatiable intent and zeal; as throughout the release individual craft uniting with collective imagination and invention.
Both 1968, with its carnivorous stalking of the senses amidst a blackened hue as crawling riffs court ravenous grooves and vocals, and the primal gait and breath of Hunter’s Moon left little for ears and pleasure to want for, the first of the two especially inspiriting with its successor a full and riveting adventure all on its own as its instrumental landscape, lined with a slight Celtic lit intimation, twists and turns with rousing and potent effect.
Kingdom brings the record to a close, the final track another slab of animated and invigorating skill and enterprise leaving this listener welcomingly harassed and aroused. It is a song summing up the craft and invention of Dog Tired and the thick textures and varied nature of their sound within a recognisable yet individual extreme metal tempest.
As much as The Electric Abyss made a potent mark first time around it was with subsequent plays that it truly blossomed into one of our favourite metal onslaughts of the year; give it time and it could be yours too.
The Electric Abyss is out now; available@ https://dogtired.bandcamp.com/album/the-electric-abyss
Pete RingMaster 27/09/2019
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