tekst: Kees Schrijven
The Dagger is a hard rock- heavy metal band from Stockholm, Sweden formed in 2009 by Fred Estby (drums), David Blomqvist (guitars), Tobias Cristiansson (bass) and Tyrant (vocals).
Musicians who are or have previously been involved in bands such as Dismember, Grave and Necronaut.
After auditioning several possible singers and seeing Tyrant exiting the band, Jani Kataja (Mangrove, Dideburn) joined the fold as vocalist by the end of 2012. He makes the line-up complete while working on their first album.
This album is their selftitled full lenght debut, and is full of real classic hard rock, heavy metal rooted in blues rock, like it was done in the seventies. This is all done the way they like to hear it themselves, in an authentic and captivating approach.
The band’s single ‘Mainline Riders’, which was released through High Roller Records in the Summer of 2013, as well as this album were recorded at Gutterview Recorders (owned by Fred Estby and Nicke Andersson) in Stockholm, where bands like Imperial State Electric, ’77, Bullet or also Morbid Chron already recorded their material.
The Music of The Dagger is heavily influenced by legendary acts such as early Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Deep Purple and Rainbow especially in my opinion, which isn’t a bad thing at all of course.
The album starts off with ‘Ahead Of You All’, a catchy tune with a real seventies fibe in it, it cleary breaths the influences of these musicians. If somebody told me this was a Rainbow song from that era, I would believe it instantly.
This band deliver’s real good quality hard rock, like ‘Call of 9’ having a strong guitar riff with a sound that suits their songs perfectly, these guy’s we’re born in the wrong era if you ask me, lucky for us. Sublime guitar soloing on this track, very recognizable melodies. It is very catchy and strong.
A ballad can’t be missed on such an album and ‘Ballad Of An Old Man’ delivers this expectation, with the soul of Black Sabbath around it. An emotional song with a vibe, these guys are masters at what they do.
‘Skygazer’ has the sound of Deep Purple written all over it, the singer even sounds a bit like the great Ian Gillan, unbelievable this record is brand new and made in 2014, instead of 1974. The Hammond organ is used to complete the sound perfectly, matching the guitars and not overruling it too much. Next up ‘Electric Dawn’ a nice uptempo song, variation enough on this record, furious guitarwork in here.
This perfect album ends with ‘Inside The Monolithic Dome’ and ‘Dark Cloud’ both very strong release, which puts the band right in the spotlight. Now they have to make it work and prove the can bring this live too, if so they can’t go wrong anymore and I see a great future ahead fort hem, a name to keep in mind: The Dagger!
The song ‘1978’ summaries it all: these musicians are reliving those years, it’s what they love and it shows. They made an unbelievable true ode to the musical era they love so much. While there certainly was a revival of 70’s rock and traditional 80’s metal in recent years, they thought many acts around lacked the right feeling and sound, but The Dagger nailed it perfectly!
They truly deliver, from beginning to end this album is full of classics, like ‘Dogs Of Warning’, and ‘Nocturnal Triumph’ prove, if you like fore mentioned bands, or even bands like Whitesnake or Y&T.
The music and the production are succeeded and the only question rases if they can bring it live as dynamic as on this album. Again: You can’t go wrong with this release. It really doesn’t get any better than this.
1. Ahead Of You All
2. Call Of 9
3. Ballad Of An Old Man
5. Electric Dawn
7. Dogs Of Warning
8. Nocturnal Triumph
9. Inside The Monolithic Doom
10. Dark Cloud