(Agoge Records)

MARK: 83/100

Another Roman combo signed by Agoge records, but unlike Ushas, Dogmate established only a few years ago (2012). The four piece thrives on a kind of Groove Metal tinged with Nu and Alternative Metal, Thrash, Stoner, Grunge and even a bit of Hardcore, while the lyrics talk about different topics in a concrete and metaphorical way: being buried alive, a psycho on steroids, a selfish God on earth, a prostitute's point of view, the dangerous effects of drugs, a runaway grown crazy due to his life mistakes, a man whose behavious has become so controlling on the others that he's not enjoying his life anymore, secret powerful hypnotists, the final world war and a nameless victim.

The band's Groovy Metal after the manner of Down is plain right away from the beginning of the opener "Buried Alive", which also contains a Slipknot-like eruption, dilated patterns reminding of Deftones with Layne Staley on the vocals; the vocals throughout the whole record are various and are often close to Philip Anselmo like at the end of this song, which also includes a part dear to Faith No More.
"Inflated Psychotic" is one of the two songs chosen for a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCHiEUStjx0); it's Modern Metal with groovy heavy drumming, more Slipknot reminiscences assimilated and customized, and a Metalcore break.
Tight, fast and rich in awesome guitar licks first, then recurring to a tough riff, "Witness of the Shamelessness" is crushing Stoner Metal with typical Italian vocals, and when I write typical I mean that's because of the singer's timbrics, heavily based on mid tones and nasal sounds; the composition includes nice Metalcore and other types of breakdowns, pinch harmonics until the heavy riff reappears, followed by the final climax. Die-hard Heavy Metal compromiseless fans are going to drool over this song, you betcha!
A twisted opening riff and others strongly in debt to Dimebag Darrell characterize "Stripped & Cold", as well as the rest of the riffs and patterns, whereas "Dark in the Eyes" is the second track matched with a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iy8IyNr7YJk); it consists of a mid-tempo bad ass riff and angry vocals, then the song veers mesmerizing or violently towards territories explored previously by Tool, Alice In Chains, Mudvayne, Mastodon and Jane's Addiction. These are decidedly the album's finest vocals, and the HC/Metal acceleration and the slowdown as to Down's canons makes it unexpectedly far more involving.
"Me-Stakes" begins with weird bass lines preceding different kinds of blastbeats; the vocals coming immediately after are clean, declamatory such as the best Vintersorg's, effected or adrenalinic, until the groove comes back to conclude this short experimental song going from Coal Chamber to Black Metal fugues!
If you are familiar with Disturbed's vocalist, you won't but think of him during "Hunter's Mind", as well as Down and Extrema on a couple of occasions; this composition is also the only one including a brief guitar solo (the only axe solo in the whole record); more pinch harmonics, a piece of Thrash Metal speeding, and the multiplicity of vocal styles make it particularly interesting; it is the epitome of grooveness and is therefore bound to make people jump like crazy live, those on wheelchairs included!
While "Mesmerizing Truth" can be described as a jam between Soundgarden and Down with Devildriver making a cameo, with the late addiction of poor final vocals and that's the only fault, "World War III" reveals all of its conquering potential since it's undoubtely one of the best vocalwise; I absolutely want to mention a marvellous melodic rhythm break on the trail of Audioslave and this debut album's best riff, which is worth the buying alone. All "Hate" enjoys great drum, guitar sounds and good sounds as to the rest of the instruments and the vocals, detailed separation, but this song is the one that is improved the most by the professional production, especially concerning the key sounds of the guitar during the licks and the last drum attack in the end. Agoge recs' owner Gianmarco Bellumori put his hands on the mastering and I must say that not only does he have excellent pickup skills as for the bands in his roster, but he's also clever at this technical aspect, in a nutshell a man with golden hands and nose!
"Black Swan" is an acoustic that has something from the early seconds of Metallica's "One", Down and the most controlled Pantera, of course due to the Phil Anselmo-influenced vocals and the backup vocals; the latter being different deliver a slightly different result and do so that the song isn't a copy of the above-mentioned acts; only an acoustic guitar, vocals, light percussions and the precious intervention of a violin, viola and cello make this melancholic facade of Dogmate a noteworthy aspect to report.

It's hard for me to grasp what these four underground musicians lack in comparison with world-renowned Italian colleagues such as Lacuna Coil; two different genres but identical talent. The next album will be the test to see if their inspiration and performance will still be top-notch as now and if Dogmate can write amazing songs like now yet with a more personal style following the example of their sixth track. If so, the Heavy Metal scene will have no excuses to ignore them. Isn't there a pinch of justice in this nightmare world, goddamnit?


Line-up on this record:
Massimiliano “Mad Curtis” Curto – v.
Stefano “Sk” Nuccetelli – g.
Roberto “Jeff” Fasciani – b.
Ivan “Ivn” Perres – d.

Rome - Italy

Official sites:



(CD - 2013)
-DogMate (EP - 2015)