THE DAGGER – The Dagger
There’s something to be said for an established history in the scene. The current ‘throwback’ aspect of 70’s hard rock and early 80’s heavy metal is gathering a boatload of momentum across mainland Europe in terms of newer acts – and I worry about consumer burnout as product floods the current marketplace. Containing 3 ex-members of the Swedish death metal institution Dismember in drummer Fred Estby, guitarist David Blomqvist and bassist Tobias Cristiansson and rounding out with ex-Sideburn vocalist Jani Kataja, The Dagger has a sole outlook to put forth classic hard rock/ heavy metal the way they want to listen to it. Meaning a lot of influence from their childhood/ teenage heroes: be it Thin Lizzy, UFO, ZZ Top, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Accept, and so on…
What you’ll get from this quartet is a labor of love: simpler arrangements, kinetic musical energy, melody and harmony hooks that you can hum and sing along to, and genuine appreciation for the roots of hard rock and heavy metal. Highlights are endless: the blitzkrieg lead break from Blomqvist on "Call of 9", the Wishbone Ash meets Thin Lizzy bluesy swinging "Skygazer" complete with Jon Lord-ish organ action, and who cannot a little downtown bar boogie with cowbell action on "Nocturnal Triumph"? Jani’s delivery has a lot of American charm and English tradition, as I hear sparks of Phil Moog, Ian Gillan, all the way through to Foghat and ZZ Top throughout these 10 tracks.
As long as artists like The Dagger take the inspiration of old and create new music – instead of watering things down by liberally lifting some of their favorite riffs, words and songs to try to pass off as their own – I see nothing wrong with these acts continuing onward and upward in terms of gathering a following. If digging this causes you to investigate deeper into the classic hard rock and heavy metal of yesteryear, then all the better. Rock on, The Dagger!