Here’s one of those releases that make me question Metal Blade sometimes; another angular burly hardcore act along the lines of A Life Once Lost, (former label mates) Achilles, The Minor Times, Apiary and The Handshake Murders. The Dregs is competent, heavy and angry but delivering absolutely nothing new or original.

Of course, if you’re satisfied by 10 short sharp stabs of lurching, staggering, stuttering hardcore metal, then The Dregs will appease you. However, beyond the heaving rage and atonal riffage and menace, there is little to separate Engineer from the pack, which is a shame because in the bands debut full length, Reproach, I thought the brothers Gorham had the potential to deliver something special.

The Jocko Randall (Ed Gein) production is noisy and burly, befitting the band’s caustic throes of tracks like “Scala Natura”, “The Iron Worker”, “Tremors”, “First Frost” and “the Thinning Cynic” and Bob Gorham has an impressive bellow, but in the 34 minute assault, there’s not much worth revisiting or remembering. “Hollow Vessel” and “Big Black Smile” initially hint at being a little more expansive and experimental, but eventually shift into just an expected but slower, more deliberate take on the band’s now exhaustive lope.

I kept waiting for the band to just take a slight tangent or inject something to invigorate their angry but predictable bursts of Tourretes-core, but it never happened and as a result The Dregs is another high energy, low recommendation release on a label that should be delivering far better stuff.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 15th, 2007

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