A year of personal and other difficulties has shaped the experience of recording "A Sound Beating" for Wardog. However, this did not result in the band recording a doom metal album - instead, a lot of repressed anger can be heard coming out on their latest effort.

Wardog was formed in 1993 by Tom Gattis and Chris Catero. The former's name might ring a bell as one of the co-founders of Deuce (the other co-founder of which - Marty Friedman - ended up making it big in the enviable guitarist slot in Megadeth). I think "A Sound Beating" is Wardog's second album, and rather a good one at that.

Sounding full of energy and with a healthy dose of aggression, songs like "Seven Minutes to Hell" and "Close Friends, Closer Enemies" bulldoze across the listener. And these aren't the only strong tracks on the CD. The only letdown - a highly personal one, not too major - are the drums. In the faster songs, it sounds like the high hat is attached to the snare, which creates a staccato sound. That just plain bugs me.

Vocal-wise, I think I'd have to rank Gattis as one of the most fitting non-grunting metal singers around. All in all, a cool album if you don't have the drum hang-up like I had.



Written March 1999


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