The Dagger - 'The Dagger'

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The Dagger - 'The Dagger'

There are also occasional nods to Judas Priest, Saxon, early Scorpions, some Black Sabbath Doominess and even some Hawkwind-style Space Rock

A new Swedish band, The Dagger consists of Fred Estby, David Blomqvist and Tobias Cristiansson, ex-members of Grave, Dismember and Necronaut. Now normally, any mention of bands of that ilk would have your average Fireworks reader running and hiding behind their Journey collection. But fear not, because thankfully "Retro" is very much the name of the game here on this debut album.

he excellent opener 'Ahead Of You All' begins with twin-guitar melody before erupting into life with a very Iron Maiden sounding galloping rhythm, but then from 'Call Of 9' onwards the album heads back towards the seventies where Deep Purple is very much the name of the game, the Ritchie Blackmore style guitar tones on the solos and the Gillan-esque vocals of Jani Kataja (Mangrove, Sideburn) just adding to the overall effect. There are also occasional nods to Judas Priest, Saxon, early Scorpions, some Black Sabbath Doominess and even some Hawkwind-style Space Rock. Credit then to guys with heavy musical backgrounds for coming up with an extremely palatable album, the likes of '1978', 'Skygazer', 'Nocturnal Triumph' and the excellently arranged 'Inside The Monolithic Dome' with its constantly changing tempos make this an album well worth investigating. Whether it's been recorded on a budget or if it's intentional, but the dense old-style Martin Birch-sounding production just adds to the authenticity.

If you took a handful of your old vinyl records, melted them down and re-pressed them into one brand new album, this would be exactly what you ended up with.

Ant Heeks

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