War Dogs is the second album from American sludge metal band Euphoria Down, released on April 20th 1997 through Acidic Records. After its predecessor, 1995's Psychedelium, gained huge underground sucess, Euphoria Down and Acidic Records were both put on the map. War Dogs is the first album of the band's to be a concept album, as were majority of the albums that followed. It is followed by 1999's Natyr.
Recording and background
Following the sucess of their debut, 1995's Psychedelium, New York's Euphoria Down spent majority of the two years that followed building up a moderate fanbase, particularly so in Europe. By 1996's end, according to Peter Eriksen, the band was ready for another session of recording. The next album would be a concept one, heavily influenced in the lyrics by the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. 1997 was spent thoroughly working on the second album, and by April 20th 1997 "War Dogs" hit shelves, gaining critical acclaim and a large fan influx for the band, who toured throughout Eastern Europe, their first time ever.
Following "War Dogs" released on April 20th 1997, the band followed a wave of sucess and acclaim, and headed to Prague on the 23rd, less than a week after the album's release. They played across Eastern Europe for three weeks, garnering a large audience there, particularly in Russia and the Baltic states. The band had by now garnered a big fanbase in Europe, and a still moderate group of devotees back home since the band's beginnings.
The album was hailed as a masterpiece, and acclaimed to have topped its predecessor in heights and sound. Critics appraised the band for their sucessful attempt at a concept album, and said that "War Dogs" painted exactly what the band wanted its listeners to hear.
"War Dogs" covers the Roman Empire's many stories and tragedies, including the death of Caesar ("Betrayal By Thy Daggers"), the romance between Caesar and Cleopatra ("Within A Carpet"), the tale of Romulus and Remus ("The Makers of Rome"), and heavily on the Roman mythology, with a four part song cycle ("Mythology Part I: Birth, Part II: War, Part III: Anarchy, Part IV: Peace"). The song "Crossing Mountains Without Thy Plans" is about Hannibal. Other stories of Rome include the tale of Nero and the burning of Rome ("The Torches of Nero"), the cruel treatment of Christians by the Romans ("The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer"), the eruption of Mount Versuvius ("Fire From Heaven"), and the eventual decline of the Empire ("Remus' Curse").
- All music written by Euphoria Down
- "The Makers of Rome" - 6:00
- "Within A Carpet" - 5:34
- "Crossing Mountains Without Thy Plans" - 8:00
- "Betrayal By Thy Daggers" - 5:44
- "The Torches of Nero" - 9:00
- "The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer" - 7:22
- "Fire From Heaven" - 5:44
- "Remus' Curse" - 7:55
- "Mythology" - 19:00
- I. "Birth"
- II. "War"
- III. "Anarchy"
- IV. "Peace"
- Peter Eriksen - vocals
- John Monten - rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Levi Donetelle - bass
- Jeff Contela - drums