THE DOG – Avenge Us CD/12”EP/CASS

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau’s line brings me nicely to THE DOG’s newest release, “Avenge Us”, available in three formats on Arcadian Industry.

THE DOG are searching for their own character and this record is the proof. Those of you who have heard their first two records , The Devil Comes At Night (2016) and I am You (2018) remember their fast hardcore and power violence character. This time, however, it is not that predictable. Although they claim their main ingredients are still there, you need to look for them.

The title track that opens the record after a short shouted intro is not what you’d expect from the band. A mid-tempo heavy hardcore riffs interrupted by a gloomy refrain with atmospheric guitars in the background, finally break into a tempest of noise, that eventually becomes another slow riff with bass line underlined and keyboard sound to go along. It’s a song so much packed with ideas that it would please any hardcore band for their first 7” release and there would be nothing left for the power violence band to prey on. The track is bloody 5 minutes long. Camping in the Desert (of Life) is no different. It’s even slower, a bit monotonous but THE DOG have always good chorus lines so save the party. They keep the song very simple on the other hand but still experiment with the background drone noise. OK, no panic here. The title Haunted Heart, next one in row, looks like it can crush our bones. Or can it? A very climatic and atmospheric guitar plus reverb can serve very well as a movie soundtrack but they will definitely not make you mosh around the house. OK, if not this 3 minute track than perhaps, the two last ones, that play a whopping 7 minutes! Yes! My waiting has been rewarded. Colonial Friendship boasts a great thrash riff followed by a beautiful blast and a melody. Now we’re talking! Race War that closes the record holds all the ingredients previous tracks have. It’s another complex song where everything finds its moment: thrash riff, hardcore beats, great hardcore melody in the chorus, solid bass line, fast hardcore and a solo! And surprise surprise – it’s THE DOG’s remake of CARNIVORE’s song. And then THE DOG stop and leave us puzzled, awaiting for the continuation of this experiment. And this is how I read the album. It’s an experiment. It’s a work of a sculptor whom we find busy carving his way through his vision but you still cannot see the end result. This makes me want to hear the next release even more badly.