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Dark Hound: Dawning

Announcing their arrival with 2014’s self titled debut, Nashville’s Dark Hound return with Dawning, a leaner, meaner and harder hitting effort that suggests much growth has happened in those intervening years. Mining the classic thrash sound of Rust era Megadeth and sprinkling something akin to early Trivium on top, this second offering is bursting with grating riffs and snarled choruses. The Browns are the band’s foundation, ET manning the bass and providing vocals, while Josh is the power behind the kit, pounding for all he’s worth as the guitars from Preston Walls and Evan Hensley spark and grind. ET possesses a convincing bark, although there’s an unfortunate tendency to bury his efforts a little too deep in the mix, swamping his vocal outbursts somewhat. There’s also a little too much reliance on double (or more) tracked vocals, something which seems to diminish the power behind them, rather than increasing it, as was doubtless intended.

The likes of “Carnival Of Youth” certainly knows how to turn the screw and look to force itself on you, but somehow never quite works the magic you initially think it might, while “Stripped Away” lacks the refinement to truly convince. Although when the latter turns its attention to a deep grinding, buzzsaw riff, the results are quite majestic. With all the right parts firmly in place, it’s difficult to pinpoint why “The Jagged Edge”, “Here Lies Truth” or “The Answer” don’t ever really hit home with as much force as you’d wish and equally challenging to pick holes in any of the three. Although maybe it’s more the album’s lack of real stand out moments that makes Dawning much more underwhelming than it really feels like it should be.

“Thrashgasm” possibly does the best job of explaining why Dark Hound never really drop your jaw, while somehow, not putting a foot out of place. Call a song by that name and you really have to deliver, well, a thrashgasm, but instead, what we get is a far more polite and organised slice of polished metal with no real bite. It’s good, but not great and in truth, that’s probably the best description for all of this album. Not one song truly offends but then neither does a single track make you sit up and take notice.

Dawning is an OK album and Dark Hound are a good band, but with the competition for your listening time being so fierce, can that really be enough? Probably not on this occasion.

Track Listing
1. The Ashes of Your Worth
2. Guilt Tripper
3. Carnival of Youth
4. The Answer
5. Crisis of Hope
6. Thrown to the Wolves
7. Stripped Away
8. Balancing Act
9. The Jagged Edge
10. Thrashgasm
11.Here Lies Truth

Added: July 24th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Dawning @ bandcamp
Hits: 390
Language: english

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