Dark Hound - Oceans
Rampant Struggle Records
Heavy Metal
5 songs (24' 36")
Release year: 2015
Reviewed by Andy

Hailing from Nashville, Dark Hound is an odd band to find in a town that is famous for its country music, but their plucky take on thrash and NWOBHM is fairly good for a band at the beginning of their career. Oceans, their newest EP, shows excellent work on the part of the band, though it's marred by a somewhat weak vocal performance.

Thread and To Know End are a lot like Friedman-era Megadeth; they're a bit thrashy, but much slower and more melodic, with dualing guitar solos that win the listener over. The riffing is good too, and though the songwriting is still a little uncertain, it's quite listenable. Rearview Mirror is more aggressive in terms of riffing and drumming, and goes at a faster pace, while the title track consists of a palm-muted, swinging-beat piece with breathy background vocals drifting around in the mix behind frontman ET Brown's pipes and a palette of rugged-sounding guitar riffs riffs. It's complex, almost Dream Theater-like, and definitely showcases the musical skills of the band.

I'm not quite as delighted with the vocals and lyrics, both of which, unlike the vocals of Dark Hound's thrash influences, are soft with only a slight edge to them. They sound tame, especially on the shouted choruses, like Brown is afraid to get louder and is pulling his punches; listeners to Early Man might be able to detect a lot of resemblances, both the plusses and minuses.

All in all, though, Oceans makes for a decent EP to listen to. And hey -- at least it's not country.

Killing Songs :
To Know End, Oceans
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