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Released: 2015, Rampant Struggle Records
Hailing from Nashville, a town more known for its thriving country and jazz music scenes than heavy metal, comes Dark Hound. The band’s comprised of four long-time friends and metal heads who, fortunately for our purposes here, have kept their music free of non-metal influences in spite of their hometown. The band has a 2014 self-titled album under its belt and is quickly following with this hard-hitting EP for 2015.
Musically, Dark Hound is firmly in the traditional metal camp, with influences of progressive and thrash metal. Oddly, the vibe I get most from OCEANS is mid-years Megadeth (picture YOUTHANASIA and CRYPTIC WRITINGS). I can’t think of a single other band that’s mining this musical territory and that immediately makes OCEANS a refreshing listen. What’s more, while the influence is clear, the band has not openly copied any riffs and has wisely focused on writing their own material. Similarly, ET Brown’s vocals do not ape any particularly vocalist and his disconcertingly laid back style helps give Dark Hound a sound they can call their own.
“Thread” opens the EP and is easily the albums most memorable track. Its mid-paced stomp is instantly catchy and perfectly sets the table for the following tracks. Skip ahead a couple of songs to “Just as Blind” and you will find another thunderous track with both a sing-able chorus and a riff that forces you to head bang along. This song also features the EP’s coolest guitar solos.
The biggest complaint I have about OCEANS is that all five of the tracks are mid-paced. There’s not a bad song in the bunch, but a little more variation would serve the band well on future releases. C’mon guys – give us a full-on speed metal thrasher next time! Despite this niggling complaint, OCEANS is a very accomplished release that I enjoy more each time I listen to it. Dark Hound has a promising future if they continue growing their signature sound.
2. To Know End
3. Just as Blind
4. Rearview Mirror
ET Brown: Vocals, Bass
Elliot Gordon: Guitar
Evan Hensley: Guitar
Josh Brown: Drums
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