Release Date: March 11th, 2015
Released By: Heaven and Hell Records
Genre: Heavy Metal
5.0 Calm Before The Swarm
6.0 Devil By The Horns
8.0 Free Soirit
9.0 Sands Of Time
In 2011 the band Dogbane released their debut Residual Alcatraz. Though I didn’t review that album I found it to be quite an impressive first album. Hailing from Greensboro NC, the band took to the scene in 2010 with a sound and style that was pure classic metal while at the same time maintaining a sound not entirely retro. Mixing a NWOBHM sound with a strong dose of doom, they started to make a bit of a name for themselves on the local scene. While out supporting the album and making new fans, the band strengthened their bond and became one of the strongest live supporting bands playing in the surrounding areas of Greensboro. Last year the band took a break from playing live to begin work on the sophomore release When Karma Comes Calling.
As strong an album as Alcatraz was, Karma is leaps and bounds beyond it. With their debut you could tell that they were still figuring themselves out and learning how to play with each other. With the new album they have built a solid foundation which in turn brings a maturity to the song writing and a tightness of the chemistry in the performance. Still maintaining that excellent balance between NWOBHM and doom, some of their not so obvious influences are starting to show with songs like “Calm Before the Swarm,” “Free Spirit,” “Warlord,” and “Sands of Time” you hear bits of KISS, Anvil, Trouble, and a great bit of Thin Lizzy in the twin guitar assault of Jeff Rhinehart and Mitchell Allred. Both men are supremely talented musicians and gel very well with each other. Just as equally cohesive is the rhythm section of bassist Kevin Davis and drummer Jerry Cloer. They are that strong anchor that gives Allred and Rhinehart the set-up to play some brilliant riffs. Vocalist Jeff Neal has a voice that has so many rich tones from a haunting lower range to an excellent falsetto.
Dogbane are a band I suggest keeping an eye on because they will only get better as time progresses. With their top notch musicianship, to their instantly classic songs, to the fact that they are all super gracious gentlemen, I can only see their star rise higher and higher, and I can think of few bands more deserving. Dogbane continues the groundwork they laid down with their debut, and has made an even more impressive run with their latest When Karma Comes Calling.
Written by: Chris Martin