Century Media Records has announced the signing of the Swedish metal/rock band THE DAGGER (formerly DAGGER).
THE DAGGER consists of Fred Estby (drums), Tobias Cristiansson (bass), David Blomqvist (guitars) and Jani Kataja (vocals), who have been active in bands such as DISMEMBER, GRAVE and SIDEBURN.
THE DAGGER was formed in 2009 with the aim to create real classic hard rock/heavy metal rooted in blues rock and to perform it simply the way they like to hear it themselves.
Jens Prüter, head of A&R at Century Media Records Europe, comments: "Everybody likes classic hard rock. Even Swedish death metal guys or German punks like me.
"I've already been a fan of THE DAGGER's first 7" and was completely stoked when I heard a rough mix of 'Ballad Of An Old Man' in Stockholm last year.
"There is a lot of bands hailing classic hard rock and heavy metal, but just a few are able to write classic songs and just a very few have such gifted vocalist like Jani.
"I'm glad to welcome THE DAGGER to the label and hope you will like it as much as we do."
Fred Estby of THE DAGGER comments on the signing and album release: "We are proud to release our debut album on a label that has been into our music from the start and we are looking forward to a co-operation by the blade! THE DAGGER is ready to stab the world!"
After the release of the group's debut seven-inch single "Mainline Riders" (via High Roller Records), THE DAGGER started recording its debut album at Gutterview Recorders (astudio owned by Fred Estby and Nicke Andersson) in Stockholm, where bands like IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC, '77, BULLET and MORBUS CHRON already put their material on tape.
For a sample of what's to come, check out the seven-inch single version of the album track "Dark Cloud" below.
THE DAGGER is:
* Jani Kataja (SIDEBURN) - Vocals
* Fred Estby (NECRONAUT, ex-DISMEMBER) - Drums
* David Blomqvist (ex-DISMEMBER) - Electric Guitar
* Tobias Cristiansson (GRAVE, ex-DISMEMBER) - Electric Bass
Says Estby: "THE DAGGER was formed by me, David and Tobias in early 2009. I had some material that I thought didn't really fit for NECRONAUT, but was still too good to chuck away. When I talked to David about this, he told me he also had material that wouldn't work for DISMEMBER, which made us think about writing songs together in a different way than before. At the same time, Tobias was also writing more hard rock-oriented songs and was immediately into playing them with us. So I think the three of us really wanted to do something we hadn't done before."
Even though all three of them were into doing something new and different, no one was rushing things. "We have been rehearsing and writing songs not wanting to force anything," Estby says. "It also took a long time to find the perfect singer for the band. It was really worth the wait, though. Jani suits this band perfectly both musically and personally."
Given the "confession" Fred makes about the band member's personal taste in music, THE DAGGER suddenly seem less of a surprise than before. "The last couple of years on tour with DISMEMBER, we almost only listened to the classic hard rock albums we love," he says. "We also talked about how many bands tried to sound like that but never really succeeded, in our opinion."
Dave, Tobias and Fred are all equally involved in the songwriting for THE DAGGER, whose sound contains no audible traces of DISMEMBER, GRAVE or NECRONAUT.
"We write different kind of songs but within the same framework," Estby explains. "This fact allows us to help each other out when one of us doesn't have a whole song from scratch.
"Jani joined the band when the album was already written, so he will be much more involved in the songwriting for the next one."
Photo credit: Nikko Knösch