Spain is world-renowned for many things but producing top quality metal is not one of them.
Hopefully, the release of this debut full-length album by War Dogs may inspire some change.
Formed in 2015 War Dogs released their debut self-titled EP three years later.
Now, to bring in the new decade we are treated to Die By My Sword, a mighty disc of powerful metal.
With the band consisting of Eduardo Antón on lead guitar, Manuel Molina on bass, José Vicente Aldeguer on drums, Alberto Rodríguez on vocals and Enrique Mas on rhythm guitar, each member plays their part to the full.
If ever an opening track embodied what a band is all about then the title track does exactly that. “Die By My Sword” has power in abundance in a New Wave of British Heavy Metal fashion and with Rodriguez’s vocals which have great depth and uniqueness, there is a lot to admire. Add to that the drive from Molina’s bass and some top fills from drummer Aldeguer then it all comes together beautifully. To top it off there’s the guitar work from Antón and Mas. The riffs are solid and melodic with the solos well constructed and numerous. Just the way I like it. What a belting opening.
To follow that track up was going to be a tough job for War Dogs and so it proved, but they give it a great shot and come mighty close. The next few tracks follow a similar NWoBHM road, with an odd stop in a thrash lay-by (“Wings of Fire”) but “Master of Revenge” and “Kill the Past” are real highlights.
“The Shark” features current Manilla Road vocalist Bryan Patrick and is a tribute to former, now deceased, Manilla Road founder/vocalist/guitarist Mark Shelton. It is, as the kids say, a ‘banger’ with a catchy as you like chorus and headbanging beat. A fitting tribute.
The final three tracks offer something slightly different. Whilst still heavy as ever they feel more intense and deliberate. “The Lights Are On (But Nobody’s Home)” is a superb tune, with Rodríguez taking his vocals down a notch to become more intense and threatening. The twin leads are a joy to behold too.
As a debut album, this is a cracker. Spot on musicianship, intense feeling, and great maturity. Die By My Sword is out now on Fighter Records.
Rioja, tapas, Picasso, Barcelona FC, War Dogs? Yeah, it fits……….
Also, find more of my CGCM reviews here: Sparky