Sunday Old School: Dub War
Personally, one of my favourite things about metal music is finding ways to fuse it with other genres. From rap to jazz, metal seems to find a way to work with anything. In the early nineties a group from Wales named Dub War found a way to entwine it with reggae. Dub War began life back in 1993 in Newport, Wales, and immediately gained notice for their distinctive sound, which quickly earned them a record deal with Words Of Warning Records, a small label which had previously released records from Britcore legends Gunshot amongst others. Through Words Of Warning, Dub War released their debut mini LP, "Words Of Dub Warning," which circulated throughout the metal underground and eventually found its way to a Mr. Digby Pearson, founder of Earache Records, who were known for putting out music by such extreme bands as Napalm Death, Morbid Angel and Godflesh amongst others. Pearson decided to take a chance on the band and Dub War were signed to Earache in 1995, releasing their first album through the label, "Pain" the same year.
"Pain" proved to be fairly successful. While the first single, "Gorritt" was largely ignored, the band earned their first charting single in the form, of, "Strike It" which entered the British Singles Chart at number seventy. With the release of the album, a charting single and the touring process that came with it, Dub War soon gained a reputation for their live shows, which featured the members experimenting with their sound and singer Benji Webbes commanding stage presence, coupled with his unique form of crowd interaction. The tour even took them to the legendary Dynamo Open Air festival in the Netherlands, where they played alongside such bands as Agnostic Front, Machine Head and Madball amongst many others in front of a crowd of 135,000 people.
Dub War continued to experiment with their sound, as first demonstrated on a recording with the single, "Enemy Maker," which charted at number forty one in the British Singles Chart, ultimately becoming their highest charting single. Another single, "Cry Dignity" also found a place in the charts at number fifty nine and soon the bands second album, "Wrong Side Of Beautiful" was released, which contained both singles and increased the groups popularity considerably, allowing them to tour outside of Europe, performing in Australia and the United States amongst other places and seeing Webbe receive a call from former Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera, who wanted him to perform as a guest on the first Soulfly album. Two more singles were released from, "Wrong Side Of Beautiful" in the form of "Million Dollar Love" and "Dreams & Illusions," though only the former found chart success, where it peaked at number seventy three. Unfortunately, things soon turned sour for the band as a result of a dispute with Earache, with Dub War claiming that the label wasn’t giving them enough money to live on or record with, leading to infighting amongst the members and soon afterwards, Dub War was laid to rest. Since then, Webbe has once again entered the public eye as the frontman of ragga metal outfit Skindred, who after several years of hard work have proved to be very popular amongst British rock fans. The other members have also worked on new projects, most notably Raw Bud which featured the three other members of Dub War (Jeff Rose, Richie Glover and Martin "Ginge" Ford,) who released a single, "Rise Up" in 2005.
Dub War - "Strike It"
Dub War - "Gorrit"
Dub War - "Enemy Maker"
Dub War - "Million Dollar Love"
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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