Although the signs for traditional hard rock are currently good, from the point of view of the Swedish band The Dagger many groups with a retro approach only sound like a lukewarm infusion of the classics - with too little feeling and without roots in the blues. Instead of merely criticizing, the quartet makes it clear on their debut album that classical hard rock can be interpreted authentically. "The Dagger" is aimed at both NWOBHM fans and fans of handmade rock music: singer Jani Kataja has a powerful voice, the twin guitar solos can be sung along at any time and the sometimes used Hammond organ fits like the proverbial lid on the pot. The earthy, rich sound, which is free of unnecessary frills and makes it clear that the Stockholm Quartet does not need any studio tricks at all, does the rest. The substance of the band can best be understood in the sensuously titled opener "Ahead Of You All", where one shows the long nose of the competition with cross references to Deep Purple and Rainbow.
Top track: Ahead Of You All