Great Metal Albums of 1986: English Dogs- Where Legends Began

If you remember, I mentioned that I saw Voivod twice in 1986. The first time in New York with the Cro-Mags and Venom. The second time was at the Electric Ballroom in Camden Town, London. Voivod was the middle of the three bands on the night. Up first was a local English band called the English Dogs.

To make a long story short, I was very impressed with the English Dogs that night. Their kick ass brand of thrash had me going down to the floor for a bit of a mosh and although unlike the New York gigs, I was able to get to the stage for a dive. Though I didn’t actually stage-dive until Voivod’s set. But that’s beside the point, the English Dogs were brilliant that night, at least from what I remember. One thing I do remember was that they seemed to be on stage for quite a long time for an opening band, not that I complained about it.

This leads to an interesting discovery when I first listened to the English Dogs’ album, “Where Legends Began.” Yes, there is some great thrash on this album. Loud, aggressive, just the way you want it, especially with songs two through four. The opener is an melodic intro, something which was done a lot on thrash albums at the time. However, there are songs which could be considered rather melodic, almost progressive, not what I would expect from a punk/thrash crossover band. In contrast to the Cro-Mags whose album had seventeen songs in thirty-three minutes, “Where Legends Began” has just nine songs which cover forty-five minutes. However, both bands do their thing very well.

The fifth song, “Calm Before the Storm,” starts out with an acoustic guitar intro. Now, I know some thrash bands do this to lure the listener into a false sense of security before assaulting their eardrums. However, while there are some good heavy parts in “Calm Before the Storm,” it doesn’t go a full thrashing mosh pitch but stays fairly melodic. However, it should be no surprise that it’s done very well. Well enough to make it my favourite track on the album.

Side two starts with “Flashback,” which is more of a mainstream metal song. The best comparison I could give is it sounds similar to Metal Church and again, that’s not a bad thing. “A Tomb of Travellers Past” goes back to more familiar territory. It’s a faster song which invites people out for a bit of a mosh. The same can be said for “Middle Earth” even though my first thought was that with a title like that, it must be a more progressive song, it’s not. There are power chords galore on this one. However, the closer, “Epilogue,” does take the album out in a more melodic fashion but it’s a great way to end it.

No matter what the song was, what caught my ear in each one was the guitar playing of Gizz Butt. He can solo to thrash, metal or even to progressive metal and the solo fits the song perfectly. Then I had a read at the man’s biography and found out that he was in Prodigy during their most successful period. I can understand why and I realize just how out of touch I was with music in the 1990s.

Track Listing:

  1. Trauma
  2. The Eye of Shamahn
  3. Enter the Domain
  4. Premonition
  5. Calm Before the Storm
  6. Flashback
  7. A Tomb of Travellers Past
  8. Middle Earth
  9. Epilogue

Ade ‘Adie’ Bailey- lead vocals

Gizz Butt- guitars and backing vocals

Mark ‘Wattie’ Watson- bass and backing vocals

Andrew ‘Pinch’ Pinching- drums and backing vocals

It’s amazing really how much a band can surprise you. I was never so surprised when I heard the album “Where Legends Began” after seeing the English Dogs live. It just goes to show.

Next post: Possessed- Beyond the Gates (They headlined that evening in London)

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2 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1986: English Dogs- Where Legends Began”

  1. Totally unknown to me this lot. I’ve added them to the list.

    Liked by 1 person

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