When reviewing Greek riffmeisters 2017 EP "Tales from the Wasteland" Desert Psychlist stated that "Dope Default may not be in the same league as Planet of Zeus and 1000mods quite yet but if they continue releasing EP's of the quality of "Tales From The Wasteland" then that day might not be too far away" Well it seems that Desert Psychlist maybe somewhat of a seer as since that time Dope Default's star has been on the ascendancy. The band soon followed up "Tales from the Wasteland" with their first full length album "Ofrenda" an album that fully cemented the bands transformation from the wannabee grungsters of their debut EP "Nuclear Honeymoon" into the hard riffing stonerized desert rockers they are today and to further document that transition from groan to growl the Thessaloniki quintet of John Campbell (vocals); Dimitris Kolimvanos (guitars); Giorgos Kontouris (guitars); Makis Georgiou (bass) and Thodoris Anastasiadis (drums), have just released their second album "Imprisoned".
Things get off to a very promising start with "No Tomorrow" a chord crunching riff fest driven by throbbing bass and powerful percussion over which big throaty vocals tell of missed opportunities and chased dreams. Following tracks "Cold-Blooded Queen" and "The Fallen Saviour" follow in much the same vein as their predecessor with big chopped out powerchords complimented by swirling lead guitar motifs pushed hard by a pulsating bass and drum pairing, both tunes finding Dope Default putting a bigger emphasis on melody and vocal trade offs. Next song "Sinless Invader" finds the band heading into southern rock waters, the band jamming a groove that sits somewhere between Blackfoot and Mississippi Bones, and is quickly followed by "Relentless", a chugging riff monster with a clever mix of loud, quiet , loud dynamics. "Silent Scream", a song that tackles the subject of our own inner demons, is next and is buoyed by a stuttering heavily fuzzed guitar riff decorated in a mix of gritty lead and harmonised vocal colouring while "Years Of Glory" , an instrumental, uses a recurring twin guitar motif to grab you attention before going off on a series of groove laden tangents. And so we arrive at last track and the one that bears the albums title "Imprisoned", big beefy and with a groove that is part Sabbath, part Orange Goblin and part Iron Maiden, it closes the album with all guns blazing its powerful bellowed vocals, scorching lead and crunching rhythm guitars underpinned by growling bass and punishing percussion, all combining to create a raucous finale to what is a delightfully raucous album.
Greece maybe a country struggling with its economic climate but one currency the bands that reside there do not lack in is groove and Dope Default's "Imprisoned" is rolling in the stuff!
Check it out ….
© 2019 Frazer Jones