Album review: Dog Tired – The Electric Abyss

Hailing from Penicuik in Midlothian Scotland, Dog Tired have been stomping their shit through thick and thin for nearly fifteen years now. Through their take on groove metal ala Lamb of God and Pantera mixed with a heavy dose of Machine Head, Dog Tired have embraced what being in a metal band is all about, namely the power of the riff. Having witnessed this four-piece band on the live front on a couple of occasions, I can guarantee you that they are hard-hitting and they get you off your ass to move. They also have the uncanny knack of breaking your neck and you lose the ability to lift your head for a fortnight while listening to their music. So with The Electric Abyss being their fourth self-released album, have the band gone all glam metal on us? Quite simply put, have they fuck!

Opening with the title track, it’s a couple of minutes of building up the atmosphere before we head into typical Dog Tired territory and a punishing groove with Luke sets the tone for the rest of the album. The production and sound of the album is very solid and I must admit, I particularly like the sound of the snare drum from Keith. It’s nice to hear the bass from Barry in the mix too, keeping the others in check and holding the song together. Vocalist Chris is one angry dude with heavy throat spitting venom vocals throughout and shows that he is a seasoned professional at what he does. The tune itself has a maturity to it compared to their earlier releases while not losing the overall power and integrity in the vein of Lamb of God. This is definitely worthy of being the title track.

I got some Entombed riffs throughout the album as well, especially with the bruising and wonderfully titled “Flesh Church” that certainly got this neck snapping. In fact, a close comparison to Chris’s vocal style could indeed be Wolverine Blues-era Lars Goran Petrov. One of Dog Tired’s strong points are their choruses and this is no exception with lyrics that you can’t help clench your first, pump in the air and sing along to. You want a song that will get you off your ass in the live environment and get the pit started and surfers flying everywhere. That will be what happens when the band play “Dagoth’s Nine” on stage. This song was made to be played on the live front with the dirty infused hard-hitting groove metal ala Entombed and Pantera, with huge riffs, in particular, being played

Dog Tired aren’t all about pace and do like to slow it down a bit here and there and let the power of the riff do all the talking. A clever opening section to the track “Beyond the Grave” from Barry and Keith once again builds the tension before Luke and Chris added the finishing touches to a slow bruising chugging song. Once again, they know how to get the crowd going with chants of the title song which will surely go down well live again. My favourite track has to be “Lord of the Vile” which is as so close to Entombed as you will get and we hear Chris’s vocals go to their lowest point verging on growls mixed with some Chuck Billy from Testament. Definitely some of the heaviest material on the album here and wonderfully constructed to create maximum impact. The all-out thrash-tastic “Kingdom” rounds off the album with typical Dog Tired riffery and shouting vocals and certainly a song that will get you to want to listen to the whole album. Everything you know about Dog Tired is put into this song and is a solid way to finish off the album.

I have mentioned a few bands throughout this review and although there may be heavy influences, Dog Tired have more than enough talent, skill and musicianship to construct songs that epitomise what metal is all about. There are head banging grooves, drums that get that neck snapping and songs that get you off your ass and into the pit. Dog Tired are one of those acts that Scotland has that should have a bigger audience than they currently have. There is plenty there for every metalhead to get into and love about this album. Dog Tired should be very proud of what they have done with The Electric Abyss and I for one will be looking forward to seeing the songs on the live front.

The Electric Abyss is out September 7th

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