DOGBANE – Residual Alcatraz

DOGBANE - Residual Alcatraz
  • 6/10
    DOGBANE - Residual Alcatraz - 6/10


Heaven and Hell Records
Release date: December 27, 2011

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Dogbane is a five-piece band from North Carolina, USA that provides a veritable potpourri of Hard Rock and Metal. Not traditional Metal by any means, Dogbane produces a sound influenced by Classic Hard Rock, NWOBHM, and modern day Doom Metal. Residual Alcatraz is the band’s debut release. It’s an extremely raw sounding album, with some lackluster production. However, the music within the ten ferocious tracks is undeniably pure and untainted.

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. The sound is incredibly inferior to today’s standards … it literally sounds as if it was recorded inside a shoe box.

Production aside, the real hero of this album is the dual guitar symmetry of Mitch Allred and David Ellenburg. Both have been playing professionally for over ten years, and together fortify the “Doom” aspect of the band with the weighted guitar riffs prevalent in each track. Most notably in the ten-minute epic track “Burning The Light”, which has all the influences of classic Candlemass melodies. The guitarists really show off their ability during later sections of this song by trading solos in a very specialized fashion.

Dogbane also features the very memorable vocal work of one Jeff Neal, who has been singing with various bands since the early ’80s. Neal has a signature high range that he uses for most of the tracks, however, during some of the darker songs he does manage to oblige the listener with some sinister Doom vocals as well, particularly on the aforementioned “Burning The Light”, where he becomes very reminiscent of Monster Magnet’s Dave Wyndorf.

In a whole, Residual Alcatraz should be commended for not following any standard genre flow. They have brushes with many different styles and are able to mix them together for a nice blend of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. What the band lacks is the attention to detail to take a song to the next level. The tracks sound as if they were recorded live with little impulse to cultivate into a formidable product. Dogbane certainly possesses all the tools to make an extremely unique and exciting Metal album, however Residual Alcatraz only seems to be the roots of a blossoming plant (Dogbane pun intended).


  • Sean Meloy

    Sean Meloy was a reviewer, interviewer and DJ here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Iowa , USA. By day he is a straight laced, buttoned up, number crunching accountant; armed with his portable calculator. All other times he is a hard rocking Metal head! He spent many hours listening to records and 8-tracks with his father. Classic bands such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton just to name a few. His father bought him his first record, Kiss Alive II, at age 6. By the time he reached his teens he was discovering all the Classic Metal of the 1980’s; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. He became a huge fan of the Thrash Metal of the time as well; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, and Overkill. During the 1990’s he experimented with the Grunge and Hard Rock. However, by the time the millennium came he found himself going back to his roots and rebuilt the music collection he started in his teens.

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