Recorded at Nameless City Sound studio, Lauder with King Witch’s Jamie Gilchrist. Cover and booklet art by King Witch vocalist Laura Gilchrist.
Independent release on Saturday 3 June 2023.
For fans of Entombed A.D., High On Fire, The Haunted, Gojira, Gorefest
The Red Verse (2023) is the fifth studio album from Edinburgh’s titans of metal, Dog Tired.
According to Encyclopaedia Metallum, Dog Tired come from the town of Penicuik (pronounced ‘PENNY-cook’) not far from Scotland’s capital.
Dog Tired have been honing their craft for over twenty years and with each release they’ve been getting heavier and heavier. Which is a splendid direction to be heading and it shows with this bludgeoningly heavy album of razor-sharp riffs and fierce melodic vocals.
After battling through a bout of full-blown flu for the last month, I took a week off to recover more fully. And what an album to get stuck with during that week-long hiatus. It has been a very welcome and soothing companion to my recovery.
The first thing I noticed when I spun up this album for the first time is the crushing guitar tone—that beautifully overdriven raw amplifier sound. The production is sparklingly clear offering an almost tangible mix with guitars, bass and drums gathered around a powerfully gruff and throaty vocal performance from Thompson.
The album opens with the lead weight grind of “Fracture” (track 1) setting the tone for the rest of the album. The riffs are dark and cavernous, the drums thunderous, and the vocals guttural and immediate. “Eyes of the divine” (track 2) flits between a trudging, plodding riff and one that could bore through a mountain. “Of severed gods” (track 3) is another highlight with its vicious driving force.
The stop-start riff that opens “The wall” (track 4) is about as heavy as you could hope for. As is the main riff for “Mars” (track 5) which reminded me of Gorefest (and I do love me a good slab of that Netherlands metal).
And then there is a “Relic” (track 6) which opens like a track from Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxygène (1976) before it transforms into the most beautiful of acoustic guitar duels. The palate cleanser. The eye of the storm. It is hauntingly beautiful.
Then the war continues. “It awaits” (track 7) is almost rude in its brutality in the light of “Relic”. It kicks off at a fair lick, with a newly discovered urgency that continues into “Godless carrion pit” (track 8) that pounds and screams one crushing riff after the next.
“Pillars of Phobos” (track 9) brings the vibe way down with an almost groove metal riff that twists and transforms into a ferociously heavy psychedelic-doom-like track. It’s quite out of place on this album, but for that reason I love it.
The album closes with the grand, punishing finale of “The Red Verse” (track 10) which is a perfect example of Dog Tired’s ability to combine brute force with engulfing atmosphere. And if you want to hear that warm, overdriven amp sound crank up the opening of this track—glorious!
Dog Tired’s debut album was released in 2011… how come it has taken me 12 years to hear them for the first time?! I live less than two hours away from Edinburgh. I’ve been blogging about metal for most of that time… Anyway, I am delighted to have discovered Dog Tired, and during a recovery from flu when that is exactly how I have been feeling.
This album is brutal. It’s is complex. It is heavy. It is melodic. It is unexpected. And I loved every moment of it. If you love your metal heavy, then grab this release with two hands and don’t let go. It will not let you down.
Review score: 100%
Imperative PR contacted me inviting me to preview Dog Tired’s forthcoming album, thank you. I have no connections to either Imperative PR or Dog Tired. I’m not being paid to review this, but I did get a free digital copy of the album to review which is pretty cool. Many thanks to Imperative PR and to Dog Tired for continuing to create fresh, exciting new metal.