Wednesday, November 9, 2011


It was with great pleasure that I found the latest release by Michigan based Dagon in my mailbox. Playing self proclaimed ‘Punishing Nautical Metal’ these ferrymen of intense metal whimsy have again shown themselves worthy of a visit to Davey Jones locker.

The five song EP entitled Vindication is their first with new guitar player Matt ‘Hoop Jones’ Trzcinsk. He seems to have fit the bill and taken his appropriate place among the crew of this sailing Man ‘O War.

The tracks delivered here carry the Dagon trademarks, soaring guitar harmonies, brutal vocals at both ends of the spectrum, and drumming that feels like being trapped in swirling whirlpool. The Nameless kicks this EP off in fine fashion with a thematically inspired musical score that flows through several mood and tempo changes. You can feel the fog surrounding you as it closes in.

Blood of Ancients plays its musical ode to Iron Maiden from the very first, but drives a strong and powerful course through the crashing assault of musical waves. Where Captains Fear to Sail is the albums ‘single’ track that punishes from the first. Much like the demanding path of a ship in a typhoon, …Captains treads musically in a slowly building cacophony of powerful force.

Land of Phantoms screams like a battleship projectile on its way to a direct hit. Speed, power and melody that is sure to get the swabs into the pit! This EP closes with a 7 minute mini epic with The Tritons Daughter, another bit of musical chaos that starts much like a slow rising storm. It opens with a brilliant sunrise that slowly develops into a day of blowing rain and punishing wind which devolves into a red sky at night as the sun sets.

The production elements are again top drawer. Strong guitars, bombastic bass and punishing drums all provide a platform for the extreme vocal assault which is courtesy of Randy Ladiski and Jordan ‘Truck’ Batterbee. Claiming influences as broad as Iron Maiden to Cannibal Corpse this disc is the real deal.

Perhaps the one thing about this release which left me flat was the album artwork, or perhaps the color. After one of the best album covers ever in Terraphobic, Vindication leaves me scratching my head. It must also be pointed out that the inside liner notes and lyrics are extremely difficult to decipher due to the coloring and font size. What happened Bombworks?

Dagon has provided another excursion into the musical abyss of the darkened deep. The concept of the ocean is still as intriguing as ever, a bit of escapism that really delivers what it promises; Vindication!

8 axes

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