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An elemental transition, indeed...
From Soil To Shale
, the blistering 9-song debut from DOGS OF WINTER, marks the trio's passage from decay and detritus into the splintery, dark mass of angular stone you see before you. Compressed under the weight of Russian amplification, steeped in science-fiction and late-night movies, the album comprises tales of gorgons, body-snatching extra-terrestrial nano-organisms, tribal-excommunication and the unceasing march of progress.
DoW's rhythm section churns the waters with their unexpected time-signatures as the guitars alternate between grinding power chords and delay-drenched psychedelia. And while there's too much math involved to classify it as "stoner metal," the band claims no responsibility if you end up as a divot on the high-school steps just because you "thought you could touch the sunset" while listening.
Their two singers work in tandem like skilled pickpockets; one second you're enjoying the show, the next thing you know you're face-down in an alley rubbing a lump on the back of your neck and your wallet's missing. Growling and screaming their way through these nine songs, they meet briefly on harmonies before running off again in different directions, bickering like an old married couple.
Mixed by Andrew Schneider
(CAVE IN, PELICAN, SCISSORFIGHT, UNSANE) and mastered by
(CONVERGE, TORCHE), "From Soil To Shale
features custom artwork by Joe Boyle
, embedded in each individual track and the accompanying PDF digi-booklet.
Ya know, for those of you stoners who still read liner notes.
"A sinewy yet soothing dose of hypnotic Hesher rock comes courtesy of NYC outfit Dogs of Winter, whose debut full-length FROM SOIL TO SHALE renders an exquisite nine-track rock excursion teeming with a loud and clear yet down and dirty elegance. This trio serves up a veritable stoner rock smorgasbord bursting with crafty nuggets of raucous rock 'n roll audacity and well-placed off kilter alternative metal techniques ("Flesh to Stone", "Ghost"). Bridging the oceansized gap between the grassroots metal of Baroness, the keep you guessing tendencies of Faith No More, and the hard hitting tunefulness of Foo Fighters, this unit's fluid musical interplay and standout soulful vocal harmonies ("Beneath the Fold") yield hybrids of muscular hard rock with brazen hooks, throbbing rhythms, and sly lyrical content that embody an earthy vibe as if whittled down from endless late night studio session jams. Showcasing lean and mean arrangements with an abundance of floating rhythms abound ("Anathema"), Dogs of Winter is poised to satisfy your sweet tooth with their batch of voluminous and voraciously addictive rock 'n roll."
-- 3:16 Productions
"The rhythm section is huge. I mean in your face, spine-rattling bass lines and mountain size drum beats... They charge forward with piles of fuzzed out riffs and the two vocalists working in tandem. The results are like being tossed into a washing machine on spin cycle... They chopped off the prime parts of hard rock, metal and punk them keep them all going at the same as part of a whole like some hyper juggler. They growl, scream, roar, slam, push and plow their way through their tracks with unbridled enthusiasm."
-- Heavy Metal Time Machine
"The best way I can think of to describe this is "A thinking man's Stoner Rock." The framework of the music is Stoner, but the rhythm section is far too clever to be a lazy, drawn out, smoke influenced haze... I have to mention the production, fan-fucking-tastic and beautifully clean."
"A classical power trio of guitar, bass and drums, they play crunchy rock songs that reveal their intricacies only after repeated listening. The guitar riffs are destroying everything in their path, and thanks to an extraordinarily crisp production, this is highlighted even more. Vocal duties are shared between the guitarist and the bassist. Their simultaneous delivery is what makes Dogs Of Winter more than just another offshoot of Kyuss and Queens Of The Stone Age... Fans of stoner rock or just those into honest, timeless rock music have no excuse not to download this exquisite record."
"Every song has enough of rock 'n' roll energy and groovy, headbang inducing riffs to feed a goddamn army of rock'n'rollers... it conveys the wrecking-hotel rooms type of energy that we've come to expect from stoner/rock bands these days... they play straight forward, no-frills rock with a truckload of memorable riffs and high-octane energy throughout."
-- RockFreaks.net (Denmark)
Follow DOGS OF WINTER at MySpace