Altar Of Sin is a Spanish group that was founded in 2002, and "The Damned Dogs..." is their second album from the total of three. Their currently newest album was released by Xtreem Music in the first quarter of 2012.

The album presents nearly forty minutes of boneheaded metal rooted somewhere between the '80s and the '90s; oldschool speed/thrash-lunacy claps hands with the early roots of leather-clad heavy metal, throws in a hint of Hellhammer and Venom, and delivers the whole thing with some heaviness and shredding borrowed from pioneering death metal acts such as Deicide and Morbid Angel. The riffs are simple but intense, and the switches between heavy death/thrash-rhythms, slightly more melodic bits, and the guitar leads with eerie twanging and charged solos keep things interesting. The beating doesn't begin to feel numbing, as there are a few calm bits thrown in.

The vocals are nicely rough and unrefined with a few surprising shrieks, and the lyrics (in bad english) about metal, women, antichristianity and general evil fit the band's full-on approach perfectly. Same goes for the cover arts; they're the culmination of the "evil metal"-sub-genre's attitudes.

On the surface level the album is everything a boneheaded metal-fanatic could ask for, but something just isn't right. The album lacks the final punch to shatter the listener's skull into pieces. I blame it on the album's sound; the guitar is raw, but not raw enough. The album's studio-production eats away the needed harshness from the riffs and especially their leads, the drums sound too steady and the bass drums too amplified, and the bass guitar is too dull and buried to provide the needed extra kick.

If the sound was as early '90s analog as the band's compositions are, we'd have a winner here. Yet, even with the sound it's married with, "The Damned Dogs from Hell" is a kicking bundle of attitude that rises above a lot of the sub-genre's bands. I'm fairly curious to hear how the band sounds on their newer album "Tales of Carnage First Class."

8- / 10