The Troll (re-issue)


If you've never heard of DRAGONDEX, it's ok, we're not going to take away your […]
May 2, 2023
Dragondex - The Troll (re-issue) album cover

If you've never heard of DRAGONDEX, it's ok, we're not going to take away your heavy metal record collection, make you wear a man bun and listen to Harry Styles, because you're not alone. The band was founded in 1985 in Applegate, Oregon, and produced only 100 copies of their one and only demo tape, THE TROLL, consisting of four songs. They actually had a pretty good following in the underground metal scene including some impressive victories in local Battle of the Band contests. Pulled from the graveyard of lost and forgotten bands, Arkeyn Records with the help of the bands bassist and founding member Scott Dorris have retrieved the four original songs and added seven unreleased "live" songs (recorded on the campus of Southern Oregon College in 1991) from those almost glory years before the band split for good in 1992. Re-mastered by Kostas Scandalis at Infinity Studio in Greece and the front album cover is based on the original hand drawing of the bands second drummer Mike Peterson. With the re-issue on March 24, 2023, we all have the opportunity to discover the music of a band that, in their words were "surely ahead of its time".

With the first four songs being from the original demo, I'll jump on those first to try and get a feel of where they are taking us. Opening with a groovy, almost psych rock beat on "Feinberg's Law" before the vocals enter and add very little to a somewhat uneventful song. That changes very quickly on the title track "The Troll" with the opening riff sounding exactly like "Crazy Train" by OZZY and the high-pitched screams bringing KING DIAMOND to mind. They do pull off a nice, gritty guitar riff and solo midway through but unfortunately at just over nine minutes long, this song could have accomplished that in half the time. The first "live" offering is "Spanish Caravan (re-visited)" that starts out strong with some heavy-laden guitar work which actually showcases some pretty tight and solid musicianship, that is, until the high shrilling, ear piercing vocals enter and give it a bad karaoke feel. "Mental Maze" again starts out strong musically, with some fluid melody and backbeat but OUCH, when the vocals come in, please make it stop. Just when you think it can't get much worse, hold my beer, they end the album with a bass solo on "Vikings".

This album is most definitely a tale of two stories. The first four songs, the original songs from their limited issued demo tape, are actually pretty good and has some memorable, enjoyable headbanging moments, but DRAGONDEX "live" is just unlistenable. They present an incoherent mixture of sloppy and wandering musical scope and harsh vocals, which unfortunately drags down my overall review rating.

4 / 10

Nothing special








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"The Troll (re-issue)" Track-listing:

1. Feinberg's Law
2.The Troll
3. Was I Lost?
4. Reality Patio
(live songs)
5. Spanish Caravan (re-visited)
6. Mental Maze
7. Our Journey (with drum solo)
8. Protozoa's Rowboat
9. Mysterious Colours
10. Last Gasp
11. Vikings (with bass solo)

Dragondex Lineup:

Alex Stephans - guitar, backing vocals
Scott Dorris - bass, backing vocals
Jason Moore - drums, lead vocals
Mike Peterson - drums (tracks 5 -11)

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