Dogbane / Press

“A band for whom this is their debut there is much more maturity on display here than a first album would suggest. For it’s duration it holds your attention and keeps your interest as to what’s coming next. I didn’t find myself bored or disinterested at any stage through this. I certainly think they would be great to hear after you’ve gotten a few down your neck.”

“A band that seems perfectly content to rock out on its own terms, trends and narrow little stylistic boxes be damned.”

““Born to Die,” “Devil in the Dark,” “Ride the Serpent,” “Residual Alcatraz” and “How the Mighty Have Fallen” are songs with uptempo mood, the kind that makes the Europeans at metal festivals start to shout “hey, hey, hey” with their fist in the hair, and a beer in the other, saying to each other, “Dogbane ist gut! Bier und metal!” Naturally, Dogbane is about clarity of sound, so the bass guitar is audible and alive in this album. The clear vocals fit the music, in a 70s doom/New Wave of British Heavy Metal, sort of slightly rough, street-metal style. The sound quality has an honesty to it that doomheads will like. Dogbane is a balance of heavy metal and doom. C’mon, now doomsters got to check out!”

“Considering how many bands have gone for straightforward heavy/speed metal in recent years, Dogbane is distinguishable thanks to their doom influences. There are plenty of the fast/mid-tempo riffs that have the hooks that listeners would expect, but the instrumentals are even better when they go the slower route and throw on the doom sound. As a result Residual Alcatraz is an album that has some variety, and the production/engineering job that the group has chosen gives them a sound that feels like the right mix of old school and modern.”

“They keep things nice and raw...not under-produced but certainly not the overshined and lifeless production we had to endure on Grand Magus' "The Hunter". These guys keep the old school balls instead of castrating themselves for a bigger label. The music itself is pretty familiar if you're a fan of early 80's metal, but Dogbane seem to be an authentic extension of that era instead of an "ironic" recreation. Good for them! The album starts well with the mid-paced epic crunch of "Ride The Serpent" and then continues with some cracking tunes like "God Forgive You", the totally rocking title cut and the pounding "Fire And Brimstone". Two highlights are the long and involved tunes "Devil In the Dark" and "Burning In the Light". The latter is a true monster, starting with total doom riffing, speeding up to fast power licks and tossing in a lot of Maidenesque twin guitar work. The former is brisk and more melodic, with Neal's best vocal performance.”

“Dogbane themselves are considered to be “traditional heavy metal” and have cited Trouble and Pentagram as two of their man influences, and it clearly shows. The songs themselves aren’t a great length, most of them at just below the five minute mark, with two of them being 5 minutes and 6 minutes in length. However the seventh track, Burning The Light, clocks in at ten minutes. Clearly ambitious for a debut album. Residual Alcatraz is definitely an album for those with a taste for old school metal, such bands as Iron Maiden and especially Judas Priest, though it could swing both ways and be for fans of those with a taste of newer and more recent metal.”

“Dogbane handles it with great skills, and first song is called Ride The Serpent. Here you get the heavy metal that is dripping down their spine, a metal sound from the 80's with guitars and attitude right on the target. Born To Die speeds up the tempo and sharpen the hardness of the metal construction that Dogbane sets free. Banished is also a great song, and here we are in world of stoner metal with a consistent attack showing that Dogbane is a band to be counted on. God Forgive You lit the fires with enormous power metal like they have never done anything else in their lives, great metal. Devil In The Dark has a melodic base where the song develops harder with lots of power and a gifted guitar solo to make the song perfect. Dogbane is a long and slow song, also from the stoner metal handbag, but it grows more and more powerful as it moves ahead. A great debut album from the guys from North Carolina, can't wait to hear more from Dogbane in the future.”

“Bands like Dogbane, and albums like “Residual Alcatraz” are desperately needed, because they remind us of what we lose as we strive to push the boundaries of what heavy metal is. The ruthless pursuit of technical wizardry yields players who deserve the utmost respect, but it's the music that Dogbane makes that is what heavy metal is supposed to be. It doesn't advance the genre, but breaking new ground is often an excuse for lousy songwriting. Dogbane doesn't need to make excuses, they just make pure heavy metal that can't be argued with. And for those who appreciate the greatness of Trouble, this is as close as you can get. There's something to be said for that.”

“Go get it for a history lesson, if you're young and curious. But for the older heads out there, you know damn well what I'm talking about. If you're still under the assumption that "there's no good metal out there anymore", you need to fucking check this out. It seems that there are some bands out there (and let's be honest, these are some old dudes playing this shit) that still know how to play the old sound. I'm thankful as hell that they still do, and I'd have never heard about this album if not for my PR folks. So I'm returning the favor by promoting it to the masses. School's in session. Go pick this one up and learn something about metal besides technicality, brutality, blast beats, and djent.”

“(8 out of 10) The lead track on Residual Alcatraz (whatever that means), “Ride the Serpent,” could easily have fit perfectly between Warlord’s “Mrs. Victoria” and Virgin Steele’s “Let’s Go All the Way” on Metal Massacre III. Incredibly, however, there’s no awkwardness or overt self-consciousness to Dogbane’s trad-metal aspirations. Like Saint Vitus, it just feels like these dudes were just born too late. In fact, there’s a doomy vibe to a lot of the material here, but, again, harking back to the doom of an earlier generation when having a singer that could hit some high notes was A-OK. It’s likely that Dogbane, should they continue to make music and should we be so lucky, will follow the path of their U.S. metal forebears—Cirith Ungol, Pandemonium, et al—and continue to make albums solidly rooted in tradition, with no further aspirations than to just kick ass”

“...I’ve recently been lucky to be sent a copy of Dogbane’s debut album Residual Alcatraz. Before I go into any depth on the album I have to say it’s a ten track guide of how rock and heavy metal should be delivered. Dogbane consists of five lets just say mature gentlemen from North Carolina but their maturity is their strength. They’ve seen fads of music come and go yet what they play is still going strong to this day. Tracks such as Annihilator stink of classic rock genius with a doom ridden undertone through out where as God Forgive You could be mistaken as a B-side by Black Sabbath. There are no frills or studio trickery on any of the ten tracks, from start to finish it is rock and roll how it was made to be played. If you like your music loud, fast, and honest with a touch of class then Dogbane are right up your street. 8.25/10 Chris Storey”

“Rock n 'Roll! ! "Ride the Serpent" evokes memories of blissful RIOT / JUDAS PRIEST / MANILLA ROAD. "Burning in the Light" is a really top official fatter Doomgroove hammer to take the start-up without much, CANDLEMASS as much! Cool! "Born to Die" captivates with a fantastic reef JUDAS PRIEST. "Banished" sawed in the best MALICE / VICIOUS RUMORS, and raises by theatrical parts, which require the correspondingly unique song of a Diamond King, inevitably associations with Mercyful Fate, "Annihilator" is difficult in view direction TROUBLE, JUDAS PRIEST / BROCAS HELMET / TYRANT. In this cycle always going on throughout the album. Who beats so well the bridge between classic and traditional Heavy Metal Doom a correspondingly specific assessment has earned. In this case, I come to the highest possible rating around the first place. Ten out of Ten!”

“Honestly, this band is THE PACKAGE, from the mighty opener “Ride the Serpent” that’ll have you thinking “doom”, all the way through to the high octane closing heavy metal storm of “Fire and Brimstone”. There’s a few other doomy goodies in there such as “Burning the light” which tends to lean more toward traditional doom with a slight hint of Lord Vicar even, but as with all things Dogbane there still has to be an uptempo energizing solo and some speed picked up enough to amplify the boogie (the bassline really grooves and is prominent toward this 3 minute instrumental intermission, lasting half the length of the song), they reward you all the way through each track and it’s amazing how smoothly and quickly you’ll be absorbed: mind, body and soul by this incredible band.”

“4/5 In this "fever" of heavy metal old school this example may well come from the U.S. Dogbane, a quintet formed in late 2011 citing as the main influences Cream and Pentagram. And it does happen, judging by the mix of classic heavy metal, heavy metal and doom U.S., with production down-to-earth, twin guitars and a vocalist who appears on the first album Halford of Judas Priest. The attitude, the sound quality and even approach the band's musical style that practices are the antithesis of what the bands "modern" come as "heavy metal classic," but the sound of "Residual Alcatraz ', the debut album dao collective North Carolina, may well appeal to the same kind of audience that has discovered names like Brocas Helm, Manilla Road and Pentagram lately. The difference is that Dogbane are real and their music exudes authenticity.”

“Dogbane-Residual Alcatraz It is difficult to create a unique sound these days in the metal world, but Dogbane has done a good album. It is a cool display of technical heavy metal which is rare to hear nowadays, you'll find some influences of course (queensryche, malice, and fates warning) but carefully constructed. Fans of true heavy metal find this one out. It must be heard to be believed!”

“Fat sounds from Greensboro do not just nodding head. Dogbane come with the complete battery of the same groove, pressure, melody and kick ass. The lighter smooth vocals by Jeff Neal, and not too slow tempo choice gives the debut disc almost Hitcharakter. "Ride the Serpent" in the mid-tempo crawls out of the speakers, what "Born To Die" is the uptempo. Not only "Devil in the Dark" will change the tempo. For over six minutes of Zehnminüter "Burning In The Light" in a tone schleppwaltzt everything flat, before the guitar durchsoliert to uptempo. In "Fire and Brimstone"'s is still really rocking, and Dogbane show once again how versatile they can move into their sound. Moderately sound there is nothing to complain oldschoolers so warm and suitable wummig everything was kept. The quintet from North Carolina created a rather primitive sound, as in the old school doom, but how dumb rock, some with guitars and panic can groove at all speeds, such as the much-quoted sow.”

“Dogbane certainly aren’t young dudes – in fact, most of them are pushing 40 – but at that age they certainly know what heavy metal is, having grown up during it’s birth in the late 70s and early 80s. As such this North Carolina crew play a straight up, no frills or Pro Tools HM with a stoner groove that very much harks back to that golden era: heavy warbling guitars, deep bass and cracking drums accompanied by Jeff Neal’s high-ish vocals define good, wholesome songs like ‘God Forgive You’, ‘Ride The Serpent’ and ‘How The Mighty Have Fallen’. What I like best about Dogbane is that much as they’re influenced by their youthful heroes of Sabbath, Priest etc, they don’t try to clone them or go for the retro approach – rather, they’re carrying on the HM torch that was handed to them by their fathers and faithfully executing it on the 10 honest tracks making up “Residual Alcatraz”, so rock on lads!”

“(4/5) In case you happened to be an old school hair metal fan, don’t get excited, there’s only one z in this Alcatraz. Polar opposite of it in fact, this is a no holds barred sludge/doom with a sweet southern tinge to it that fits in like barbeque sauce on baby back ribs. In the end, the hefty helping of metal that it serves up will satisfy the even the hungriest of metal fans. If Residual Alcatraz were a ride it wouldn’t be a Lamborghini, but something more akin to a rusted and beaten up farm truck. Let me explain. This is an album that doesn’t rush through the paces, it plods along at the right pace, does not go any faster or any slower than it needs to, it simply plods along according to what it needs to do. The wonderful thing is that Residual Alcatraz is confident of what its aims are; there is no crisis of identity here. As for the rust, that’s simply to imply that Dogbane uses a tried and true sound, something that has been put through its paces and has been proven t”

“Dogbane, "Residual Alcatraz" (7.5 out of 10) New ears for traditionalists food supply Dogbane from North Carolina with "residual Alcatraz" from. Anyone with the first Judas Priest album, MANILLA ROAD or IRON BUTTERFLY on Metal-/Rock-Seite and CANDLEMASS or PENTAGRAM and GHOST can probably start on the Doom-/Metal-Seite something when listening to the sounds of "residual Alcatraz get "a joyful smile and reminisce. Alone, the song "Burning in the Light", a Doom Hammer of the class, justifying the purchase of the disc already. Doomy-rock rhythms coupled with sublime melodies and hypnotic vocals produce a work of art, which by a spacey instrumental part at the end wins out still further momentum. Another exclamation mark sets of five with "Born to Die," which with a lecherous riff ala Priest starts, in the course become an old-fashioned heavy metal song to zuverwandeln at the end of it in an ode to the experimentation of the 70s.”

“If you like early Judas Priest this is the album for it is full of Halford-esque vocals, Quality guitar riffs, pounding drums and stunning solos. I myself was thinking how well it has been put together with the twin guitars which I love they give so much power to the songs that sometimes you cannot get any other way but these guys duly delivered. So if you have not heard of these before go out and get some stuff you won’t be disappointed.”

“The strength of Dogbane lies in the dual guitar duties of Mitch Allred and David Ellenburg- whether laying down a rhythm against a clean part of doubling up for harmonies, their searing passion comes through as the best UK players of the late 70’s and early 80’s did in their heyday. Remember when guitar playing was about evoking feelings from a few tasty licks and notes versus speedy neo-classical exercises? This album gives you plenty to digest in the former regard- “Fire And Brimstone” being one of my favorites with balancing the main riffs and groove against a decidedly melodic solo.”

“I think this is basically Classic DOOM Metal, numerous mega riffs remind it enough often, but always highly melodic and incisive, even sometimes explosive in the pure NWOBHM vein with typcial duo of guitars and hammering drums. As you can imagine, Vocals are very powerful and melodic, maybe more slightly but there's that duality of styles too with tones eyeing on Rob Halford in his late 70's/early 80's period and with a nice doomier flavour à la Johan Langquist on Candlemass 1st album... I dig them, so warm, catchy and melodic at the same time. DOGBANE didn't invent anything, how could they when playing such type of music ? This is not their intention at all, no these guys apply here, simply and humbly, the good old Metal recipes that they heard when they were kids/adolescents 30 years ago.Their experience, tightness and you know that palpably pleasure taken, allow them to master perfectly the subject ; so if you like it HEAVY, POWERFUL and MELODIC, enjoy and support them !”

“Normaal zou je beginnen denken aan Black Sabbath wanneer je het over heavy metal en doom hebt, maar daar doet deze Dogbane me eigenlijk amper aan denken. Doom moet je hier gewoon verstaan als een vertraagde versie van heavy metal die soms, ondermeer op bepaalde stukken van Annihilator, wat neigt naar Candlemass. De heavy metal lijkt wat in het Judas Priest-straatje, ook met een zekere ruwheid maar braver gebracht, misschien met een kruising van het rustigere werk van Hammerfall. De gitaarsolo’s lopen soms wel vrij melodisch op en stralen wel wat Iron Maiden uit, zelfs de zwoelere vocalen van Jeff doen wel wat denken aan dat stemgebruik van Dickinson.”

“Brilliant tunes in the vein of Agent Steel, Virtual Remains, Militia, Hellstar, early Judas Priest!!! what else to say?! just fukin Heavy and great for the Metallers . This is good value so get that masterpiece now!”

“RESIDUAL ALCATRAZ opens with the hazy doom riffery of "Ride The Serpent" a slow and hypnotizing exercise in stoner metal. "Born To Die" sounds like early eighties biker metal with it's bad to the bone mid-paced skull crushing delivery. "Annihilator" has a super heavy opening riff that gives way to abrupt stop-start rhythmic passages that better showcase the higher register of vocalist Jeff Neal. "Devil In The Dark" is catchy, memorable even, but this track in particular had me double checking the release date as it sounds more in line with late seventies heavy metal than that of the here and now. "Burning The Light" is droning, super laid back and sedative inducing... You know what I mean, it's a good doomy tune, is what I'm trying to say (Probably all the more epic of an undertaking in the live setting). Towards the end the temp picks up and there is some pretty tasteful melodic meanderings and soloing before bringing the hammer of doom back down again with crushing force.”

“A debut doom album that, had it been recorded in the 80s, we wouldn't have hesitated putting alongside bands such as Trouble, Enforcer (Chicago, USA), and Child Saint. Another band brought to mind is The Gates of Slumber. You'll enjoy this if you're a fan of old school US metal, that's for sure.”

“Given the recent resurgence of retro-minded metal – both purely traditional bands like Enforcer and Cauldron as well as the heavier, more evil-minded Ghost, In Solitude and Blood Ceremony – a band like Dogbane, which hits the sweet spot between the two sounds, ought to have a pretty wide appeal. And that’s not including the classic doom disciples, who will likely want to lock themselves in their dungeons with Residual Alcatraz on repeat as they try and smoke the liner notes. Bottom line: if you have an appreciation for old school heavy metal, emphasis on the heavy, you need to own this album.”

“DOGBANE is one of those types of bands and they're damm good. They even have a classic metal five piece lineup of twin guitarists, bass player, drummer and a vocalist who sings clean and has a good range. When this release starts out with the song "Ride the Serpent" and you hear that riff. Your arm will just rise up flying the horned fist out of habit and start screaming "yeahhhhh"! "Born to Die" picks up the pace with chunky riffs, MAIDEN-esque soloing and artillery sounding drumming. From that point on it's that same formula of explosive classic metal which hearkens back to my teenage years. Listening to this is akin to when I first saw PRIEST in the 70s, it's that exciting."...”

“Explosive classic ......Metal !!!!...with some Doom on the side you will Eat this up !!!!”

“From the opening riffs of the first track, “Ride The Serpent”, the listener will immediately detect a heavy influence of early '70s Classic Hard Rock. There is a fusion of sound reminiscent of Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, and UFO. It features the signature brooding and ominous guitar riffs, which were so prevalent during that time. Of course, what drives the authenticity of their sound is the extremely dated production value of the album.”

“DOGBANE made a darker side of US Heavy Metal while overshadowing it with murkiness that fitted the vintage British gods. There were occasions where DOGBANE let go of the dimness while unleashing a pattern of their music that was a bit livelier than the usual strides. That is one of the shining lights of this album.”

“Heaven And Hell Records have welcomed North Carolina doom metal band DOGBANE into the fold. According to a press release, "this North Carolina five piece emerges on the scene with a nice slab of traditional heavy metal flavored doomy goodness. Sighting TROUBLE and PENTAGRAM as two of the bands main influences, these southern gentlemen certainly proudly wear it on their sleeves. With a solid rhythm section, dual guitars, and the HALFORD-esque vocals of Jeff Neal, Dogbane have put together one strong debut effort." The band's upcoming album, Residual Alcatraz, is set for early December. Recorded and produced by Dogbane and mastered by Gary Long (KING DIAMOND, SOLITUDE AETURNUS). Artwork below was created by Wayne Miller who is best known for his work on fiction horror novel covers.”