Monday, August 05, 2013

Forgotten Gems: Dagger-Fate Of A Violent World

North American Music

Here's an example finding something that you didn't even know you were looking for. While searching for information on Stockholm, Sweden's Dagger (and their "Mainline Riders" 7 inch) for review purposes I came across another Dagger and, what appears to be, their sole release. After I finished up my original review of "Mainline Riders" I turned my attention back to this New York four piece and this 11-track LP. As I was able to secure a used copy for less then a dollar (and what appears to be a signed copy nonetheless!) I went ahead and just bought "Fate Of A Violent World" on a whim. Up front it's obvious why this band didn't survive. Being that it was 1994, when grunge was still golden, this four piece act and their style of music didn't stand a snowballs chance in hell of  being accepted. Why you ask? Was it that it wasn't any good? The answer to that second question is that this Dagger was actually really good and, even more so, there are some cuts on their sole album that are quite catchy and straight-up solid. The problem was that this kind of band, and the honest hard rock/heavy metal to be found on this album, was way out of vogue. Lead by Rob Rage, with some nice and crunchy guitar solos from Steve Anthony, the band existed in-between hair metal and traditional heavy metal meaning they were alienated by both groups. Well, there's that and then theirs the fact that any band that dared to call themselves "metal" faced an uphill struggle. When I first read about this album it came packed with suggestions that the music on hand fell within Keel's territory or even that it might appeal to fans of Blitzkrieg (The California one that was released the excellent "Ready for Action"), Panther and Odin. That was from some of the fine folks over at Heavy Harmonies (one of whom tagged the band as being like Kid Wicked which I'm not completely sold on) and I'll just say that they just about hit the nail on the head perfectly when it comes to "Fate Of A Violent World". This Dagger also reminds me a bit of L.A.'s Lion and also Dorian Grey. The rhythm section on this album was bassist Tony Redd and drummer Woody Stevens and all told this New York act did have some smoking tracks. Cuts like "Face To Face",  "I Am What I Am" and "Live It Up" are actually rather heavy metallic rockers. Then there are cuts like the melodic "Radio City" which are catchy even if there a tad soft. The different feel between these tracks gives this CD a wider sense of appeal as does the combination of "Follow The Leaders" and "In Hell With Glory". These two cuts combine to offer up more of an emotional take on hard rock and it's interesting to note that here you had this normal, everyman group that was stretching their boundaries out into atmospheric rock. It's actually a bit bold for a band like Dagger, but then again you do get the overall impression that these New Yorkers were making music for themselves first and foremost. Without there being any real dubs on Dagger's sole-release this is one of those albums that I will readily check back into when I'm in the mood for hard rock/heavy metal.


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