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WAR DOGS - Die By My Sword

Release date January 9/20 (Fighter Records)

Hailing from Spain, War Dogs have released their first full length since their 2015 formation. This is traditional heavy metal with a little speed metal thrown in and it should appeal to virtually all the usual suspects who frequent the Mighty Decibel. It is heavy and fast enough for the extreme metal types, but not so out of control that fans of traditional metal and hard rock will be put off.

With English language lyrics that often evoke the swords, battle, and glory of the mighty Manowar, particularly on the title track, the testosterone is in overdrive on this release. These guys don’t do the occasional throw-away ballad for the girlfriends in the audience. This is True Metal!

The band is at their finest when they throw the speed metal influence into the equation on such tracks as “Wings of Fire”, “Ready to Strike” and “Gorgon Eyes”. The production is very good, and all the band members’ efforts are easily discerned on each track. The musicianship is top notch all around, but guitarists Eduardo Anton and Enrique Mas are the highlight, particularly when they let the harmonies flow, such as they do on “Kill the Past”.

Vocalist Alberto Rodriguez is reminiscent of a cross between Rickey Medlocke of Blackfoot and Glenn Danzig, and generally this reviewer is more of a fan of these types of vocals in hard rock songs rather than metal ones. But there is no denying Rodriguez has a good set of pipes, and they started to grow on me on a couple of songs (“Master of Revenge” and “The Lights are on”).

When it comes to the re-emergence of traditional metal, these guys should be in the mix when people talk about the future of the genre.

(8.0)

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