Dagoba: Tales Of The Black Dawn

Gallic groove metallers get stuck in a rut

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Six albums into a fairly unremarkable career and it’s fair to say that you know what you’re going to get with a band like French groove metallers Dagoba.

Tales Of The Black Dawn is the sort of pit-friendly mosh riffing that they’ve made their name with. So if you are already a fan then you’ll be sated here, especially with songs like Born Twice giving them a touch of Swedish melody and brutality combined to fine effect.

But for the uninitiated, you’d be hard pressed to suggest Dagoba represent a better example of this style than, say, The Haunted at their finest. Unfortunately, for a band that began at the turn of the millennium, they appear to have been somewhat left there. The Loss’s attempts to add a cleaner vocal style and some strings to their sound just coming across as hideously dated and desperately out of touch. When they stick to big riffs and straightforward heavy metal stylings, Dagoba can still just about cut it. But is just about cutting it ever really going to be enough?

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.