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Dogz II
November 2013
Released: 2001, IGroove/Plumik
Rating: 2.0/5
Reviewer: JP

“Thor, The Mighty! Thor, The Brave! Crush the infidels in your way.” (Manowar, 1984)

Before Iron Maiden. Before Metallica. Before Slayer. Even before Manowar… there was THOR! In 1973, a young musician records his first demo/single in Vancouver, Canada what was to become the germination of ‘Body Rock’, and the eventual evolution into one of Metal mightiest warriors and most prolific and enduring acts...THE MIGHTY THOR! In celebration of his 40th anniversary and in tribute to Canada’s longest running Metal band, I am very proud to present short reviews of 13 releases from across his career. Feel free to enjoy all the reviews in this feature including…

-Keep The Dogs Away (1977)

-Unchained (1983)

-Only The Strong (1985)

-Live In Detroit (1985)

-Anthorology (1997)

-Thunderstruck (1998)

-Dogz II (2001)

-Mutant (2003)

-Beastwomen From The Center of The Earth (2004)

-Thor Against The World (2005)

-Rock And Roll Nightmare (2006)

-Into The Noise (2008)

-Thunderstryke (2012)

After the low-key comeback in 1998 (THUNDERSTRUCK) Thor took a few more years and had a rethink of his direction and look before releasing his first album of the new millennium, DOGZ II.

At this point Thor (the band) had pretty much ceased to exist and Jon Thor tried to rebrand himself a little bit. Thor's golden mane was gone, he sported short hair, a new look and new sound. While not a horrible album, DOGZ II was a very ill-advised experiment and a shift away from the pounding Hard Rock and Metal he was known for. He opted for a much more modern sound and production and the album was recorded in several different studios with different producers, and different musicians so it lacks cohesion. The band is gone and some young punks (literally one of the kids has a Mohawk in the picture on the back of the CD) and yet another female companion, this time ‘Electra’, replacing Ms. Cherry Bomb. The production is a poor attempt to mimic the industrial sounds of Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails. There is even some sort of rock/industrial remake of ‘Keep The Dogs Away’, called ‘Dogz II’ and it is pretty poor. Thor greatest asset was his powerful voice and to have it all electro-distorted does not do him justice. The album ends on a bizarre note with a thirteen minute cut, of sort of a medley of three songs, (dubbed The Thunderhawk Trilogy) old and new, but even odder it is the best thing on the album, because it is pure undiluted Thor.

This album was a brave move but ultimately could be regarded as a failure. I fully understand his need to reinvent himself and the relative failure of his comeback album but DOGZ II stands as his least competent and enjoyable album of his career. Writing this review with the massive advantage of hindsight, now it is plain to see that with two poor albums in a row the sun was starting to set on Thor’s career and the next album would be make or break for the Metal avenger. Fortunately he came roaring back in 2002 with TRIUMPHANT one his best albums in his long career. Feel free to read my review of that album, that I wrote for, back in 2002.
Track Listing

1. Deeper Shades
2. Fear of Reality
3. Dogz II
4. Higher
5. Shout at the World
6. Glory
7. Ward 81
8. Freedom
9. All My Might
10. The Thunderhawk Trilogy (I. Thunderhawk II. Danger, Stranger III. Mr. Big)


Thor Vocals
Gabor Kanyok Guitars
Martin Van Keith Bass
Dave Pare Drums

Next review: » Thor - Into The Noise
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