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Dogs Of War

Spain Country of Origin: Spain

Dogs Of War
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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: April 1st, 2009
Genre: Black, Thrash
1. Howls Of War
2. The Death Squads March Upon The Etermination Fields
3. Revenge Of The Dead
4. Berserkers
5. Dogs Of War
6. For The Glory Of Tyr
7. From Hell
8. Varg The Mighty
9. Kindome Of Darkness
10. Satan Bless You (Sabbat Cover)

Review by Felix on November 25, 2023.

I do not understand the concept. "Dogs of War" starts with the howling of wolves. Unfortunately, they seem to have a bad cold or maybe they suffer from asthma. Be that as it may, I thought that the barking of angry dogs would kick off the album in accordance with its name. Thankfully, I do not have to rack my brain over this matter, because it goes without saying that the full-length is not characterised by its intro. "Dogs of War", the debut of Körgull the Exterminator, shows their musical approach at an early stage of development. The band is unable to unleash the sheer franticness which shapes their later releases. The reason for this is not so much a compositional one. It is rather a fact that the production cannot convince. It leaves a powerless and dull overall impression which stands in sharp contrast to the fanatic songwriting.

Speaking of the songs, they do not give rise to any major objections, but it becomes obvious that the band still has potential to increase its musicianship. Leaving this aside for a moment, Körgull pulls out all the stops in terms of velocity, wildness and hostility. The lethal riffs, for example that at the beginning of "Revenge of the Dead", want to unfold their full impact, but the unclear sound is the showstopper. Fortunately, it does not strongly affect the vocal performance of this unstoppable beast called Lilith. Her rasping voice sounds as ugly as possible. She gives me the feeling that I do not want to meet her alone in the dark. But with regard to the here presented bastard of death and thrash metal, I appreciate her style of articulation very much. Lilith does not lack of passion or power and that is the crucial thing.

Did I say that the songwriting reveals their fanaticism? That´s right, but this is only half the truth. Compared with their later compositions, the here presented tunes fail to deliver the same degree of memorable catchiness. For example, the chorus of a song like "Black Pandemic" from their split with Graveyard takes you by the balls without any hesitation. The tracks of "Dogs of War" cannot provide this quality feature. I do not want to say that they have to struggle with serious problems. Songs like "Berserkers" or the title track - which offers a fantastic break with bloodcurdling screams of Lilith - indicate the strength of the formation. From time to time, the band shows the capability to achieve (almost) maximal results with minimal effort. Yet the final touch is missing. And it must be borne in mind that a few tracks suffer from lacklustre riffs so that they fail to make an impact. Fortunately, these songs are the exception to the rule.

"Dogs of War" is not a monument of death / thrash metal. If you want to delve into the subgenre for the first time, there are a lot of better albums. It is nevertheless an important output, because it was the first step for the Spanish horde to establish itself in the scene. I recommend to lend an ear to "Kingdome of Darkness". It combines hymnal, almost medieval riffs and cascading guitar lines with the fundamental ferocity of Körgull. If you do not like this almost complex outburst of energy, "Dogs of War" will not make you happy.

Rating: 6.9 out of 10