August 22, 2020

Dagoba - What Hell Is About (2006)

Country: France
Language: English
Genre: Industrial Metal, Groove Metal
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© 2006 Season of Mist
Reviewed by Alex for Metal
I hate to be a pooper on anyone’s parade, but France’s Dagoba ascending procession will not include me in its ranks. Surely, they won’t miss me as there is a lot of metal loving folk flocking to the side of this young and energetic band these days. However, their view on heavy music is what I consider to be antithesis of mine.
For my personal tastes, there has been enough of one Fear Factory I am not going to listen to. Why would I need another one, even if it is flawlessly executed? If I was growing up admiring somebody’s credo in my future profession of choice, why would I want to emulate it 100%? Dagoba apparently grew up listening to Pantera, Machine Head and Fear Factory … and now they are making sure the legacy of industrialized groovy metal lives on.
Brutal music for brutality’s sake generally does not attract me, but I rarely turn down an album on that account alone. Now, if you take the formula and apply it 10 – 12 times in a row, then I start cringing. Dagoba deviates exactly three times, for short intro and a couple of instrumentals, 042104 seeming that it have jumped onto the album as an afterthought. The rest of the way we get a steady diet of machine-gun super loud drums, bass guitar and guitar fused with those drums in one monolithic fashion to play straightforward downtuned brutal riffs. To add to the formulaic nature of this equation, the vocals follow a pattern as well. Verse would be low timbre wicked shouting, the words gurgling and reverberating in Shawter’s throat. Choruses are the place where melody is allowed to make an appearance, vocals often switched to clean croon, a courtesy of Simen “Vortex” Hestnaes (Dimmu Borgir, Arcturus) presence and inspiration. Things can either get very brutal as in The Things Within, or be a little more mellow and melodic (The White Guy (Suicide)), but you really do not need my track by track description. You should be getting the picture by now, you have heard it on the radio so many times before. You also heard it talking to a person relatively new to metal, but who thinks he has accomplished all things heavy having purchased … that latest Fear Factory album. Hey, that rhythmic groove does hook, you know.
Dagoba’s execution is perfect, and producer Tue Madsen earned his keep. What Hell Is About roars along thunderingly, leaving no mercy in its wake. Drums pound, guitars pound some more, the voice is commanding. If I liked the premise, I would like the implementation, but I tend not to like the albums where the soul has been neutered out and substituted with modernity and execution style. What Hell Is About strikes me exactly like that.
The band has recently secured a tour with In Flames and Sepultura. There could not have been more appropriate road running mates for Dagoba, the heroes they should look up to. If the Frenchmen keep this up, they should be well on their way to stardom in the nu-thrash arena. I wish them good luck, but I also wish to be spared the details of how that tour went.

tags: dagoba, what hell is about, 2006, flac,


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