The first thing that hits you about this album is the packaging. The design of the CD inlay card (which also accompanies the LP in a rather innovative manner) is impressive. The lyrics are accompanied by striking artwork illustrating the themes of each song.
The colours and fonts employed are also a refreshing change from the norm. It’s good to see that the album has been released on two formats, as I struggle to remember the last time I bought a local band’s music on LP.
For those unfamiliar with the Dagda, they were formed about 2 years ago, and include ex members of My Name Is Satan, Bleeding Rectum and Jobbycrust. They play intense, fast hardcore, but the songs often contain melodic, slower sections. As well as playing all over Ireland, the band has recently completed short tours of Holland and England.
Album opener ‘Jahbulon’ has tranquil beginnings but soon erupts into familiar Dagda territory. It is immediately apparent that the sound has progressed since the ‘Blind Kings’ 7″ which was very harsh, and had quite a rough, crusty sound.
This album has a darker, heavier tone, and the drums are more upfront than before. ‘Draining’ and ‘The Statues Gaze Upwards’ are two of my favourite live tracks, and having the lyrics to hand reinforces the power of these songs.
In fact, throughout the album, it’s difficult to ignore the lyrics. They are intelligent and meaningful, and I find myself not having much time for any other band’s writing these days. The epic title track is, without a doubt, the strongest and most accessible song here, and the varied pace throughout makes it the perfect Dagda piece for me.
This high standard is maintained with ‘Under The Wire’ and ‘The Wheel’, and the lyrics to ‘The Red Dance’ are particularly poignant at this time of the year in Northern Ireland. Nine minute closer ‘Atenoux’ is another highlight, and it bears close resemblance to My Name Is Satan’s material.
It has taken me a long time to complete this review. Every time I put the record on and sat down to write, I found myself sifting through the lyrics and artwork, or just lying back and enjoying the music. In my opinion, The Dagda is, without a doubt, the best underground band in Ireland, and every fan of extreme music should add the amazing ‘Threefold’ to their collection.
–Stephen “Corrupted” McCormick ::: 3/08/02