Spain’s War Dogs are trad metal to the core and a relatively new fixture on the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal scene. Having released their self titled debut EP in 2015, Die By My Sword, their full length debut album, is now due for release on January 9th of this year.
As you’d probably already guessed, War Dogs honour the old gods (or should that be old dogs) of Maiden, Priest, Saxon, Accept, Manilla Road, Riot and Halloween and yet they sadly fall way short of the heroes they so desperately want to emulate. That’s not to say that Die By My Sword is without merit – there’s some great riffs here and a jubilant, bouncy atmosphere throughout – but the ‘special something’ that would elevate Die By My Sword to must hear trad metal status is missing.
Sure, there’s plenty of twin guitar action and rumbling bass to gnaw down on – the speed metal crunch of “Wings Of Desire” is decidedly punchy – but Alberto Rodriguez’s heavily accented vocals can only be described as proficient at best and a more commanding presence is most definitely required.
While these dogs may be barking, there’s just not enough bite! 6/10