Monday, 11 September 2017

Dagoba "Black Nova" (2017)

Celebrating twenty years of existance this French Metal band release their seventh full length after a couple of lineup changes leaving only two original band mates. I only know of the group thanks to their 2006 album "What Hell Is About" gaining some tracking within the burgeoning Deathcore scene, it wasn't one I were particularly keen on. Back then they were a hybrid of Groove and Industrial Metal with a sonic approach. A decade later you'd still describe it the same way, however the overall quality of writing and recording has improved substantially. Far better than what I remember of them.

Dagoba's music crawls forward with dark, mechanical atmospheres born of dense, syncopated grooves from thick distortion guitars and punchy drum tones that wage war with hard strikes and rapid blasts alternating with precision. Its a rather flat and monotone approach that rarely extends beyond low end grooves and the rhythmical muting of chords. They are brought to life by the synth and samples which inflict rapid Trance like leads, mechanical industrial noises to detail the spaces and drawn out atmospheric keys for a tonal richness.

Singer and founding member Shawter runs the show with grizzly shouts and burly short screams that are rather commonplace. He brings the band an edge with his clean vocals that have somewhat of a unique character or distinction, however they are only utilized on four tracks. "Inner Sun", the albums opener past the intro, makes fantastic use of this cleaner voice as they break through the noise of Trance synths busying up the metallic intensity. On "Lost Gravity" they stand more so on there own and the guitars cut in and out, its not as favorable.

The group don't pull a lot of wild cards on this record, its all pretty tame and sustainable for a handful of listens. A few good tracks show they are capable of more but ultimately it boils down to being a rather mediocre record built from decent aesthetics and a rock solid production. They do show signs of being able to writing gripping music but only when they break from the onslaught the of distortion guitars and drums battering away to focus on what little melody they offer. Ive enjoyed it a lot these two weeks but bar the one song its not particularly stuck with me.

Favorite Track: Inner Sun
Rating: 5/10

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