It can be hard to make a dent in such an established subgenre like Black/Thrash, one where the highs of the genre are some of the best metal has to offer: savage, crude and unrepentant. I admit that very few acts in this style have grabbed my attention in recent years, but it has taken a band like Dagagh to thrust me back to its murky depths. Դագաղ (Dagagh) is an Armenian word that means coffin, an apt word for the sonic horrors unfolded in their first release “Dungeon Lust”.
Dagagh are loyal adherents to the core essence of Black/Thrash, delivering an endless barrage of riffs punctuated with non-stop D beat drumming. Of course, many sources of inspiration are evident here – Bathory, Darkthrone, Destroyer 666, the list goes on. While there are many shades of past bands here, the young Armenian act is able to dissect and assemble the best components of each to deliver their own unique flair. And just as much as Black/Thrash is the main course, all of it is held together by a very strong punkish undercurrent at all times.
The band are also not afraid to slow the pace down, as seen on tracks like ‘Black Magic Worship’ which breaks into a Darkthrone-esque doomy interlude in the middle of the song that gives it a welcome change of pace without sacrificing the heaviness and just makes you want to stomp everything in your near vicinity. The lead singer’s vocals are varied, ranging from classic shrieks to ear shattering shouts and of course the classic Tom G Warrior “Oughs!!” delivered to perfection. All of this is accompanied by an excellent production job that gives the band a very professional sound, but not sacrificing the raw essence of the music.
Dagagh have seemingly come out of nowhere to not just make themselves a name in the genre, but to remind people that countries like Armenia are just as capable of being up to par with their European and North American peers. No doubt the complicated situation in the country in its conflict with Azerbaijan is playing a role in wanting this band deliver uncompromising and potent Black/Thrash.