Dagger Moon


review published: 11/22/2017


Dagger Moon are a four-piece band from Washington, DC (notably, the band features Joshua Brettell of ILSA and Integrity). The group's debut EP, titled Citadel, is a creepy, nightmarish blend of funereal doom and crust.

From the opening seconds of "Wolfpack," Dagger Moon create a dark, brooding atmosphere that underlies the entire EP. Gritty overdriven guitars are anchored by a 70's horror score-inspired synth tone, establishing a soundscape of several shades of black. Distorted black metal howls hang just under the music, giving the overall sound an extra touch of bleakness.

"Medusa" and "Wastelander" creep along following the formula displayed on the opener – grimy riffs and dark synths leading the way, but the EP really hits full stride in its middle section. "Black Water," the sludgiest song of the batch, pounds ahead on a wash of cymbals, creating a terrifying tone while "Terminus Est" picks up the pace and draws upon spacey Blade Runner-esque keys.

What Dagger Moon excel at on Citadel is creating a grim mood and planting imagery via sonic textures. Through the unrelenting onslaught of desolation and gloom, the listener can't help but to conjure images of haunted forests, satanic masses and demonic rituals.

The one downside is that Dagger Moon never really explore outside of their formula. "Wastelander" sounds oddly similar to "Wolfpack" in many parts, particularly the keyboards, which play an almost identical ascending pattern. This redundancy combined with the harsh production can make a full listen quite fatiguing. But when taken in doses, Dagger Moon's dreary grit is truly enjoyable.

Bottom Line: Citadel is as raw as any black metal or crust record and as bleak as any doom or sludge album. The atmospheres Dagger Moon create are terrifying in the best way possible.

Track Listing: 01. Wolfpack 02. Medusa 03. Black Water 04. Terminus Est 05. Wastelander 06. The Terror That Comes In The Night