At time of posting, there was only one review for Liber Dogma. Now one review does not a good recommendation make...it only takes one mentalist. So I thought I'd take the time to write another review and make it two mentalists.
When I first had mind to investigate The Black Dog, I was inevitably pointed to their Bytes and Spanners albums. It didn't seem to matter how much I played them, I just couldn't get it. They seemed just a little light and dancefloor for my taste and I consigned them to the far reaches of the CD collection which is kept mainly because it is too much of an effort to take them to the charity shop.
However, I was drawn back by the excellent series of Darkwave podcasts that they did and realised that these days they are entirely different proposition. Since 2005 and the arrival of a handful of Dusts, the beats and grooves have become darker...but the music has remained rooted in dance whilst incorporating the rhythmic pounding of industrial drop-forging. Having been around so long, The Black Dog have certainly learnt one or two things and being a trio around the table, ideas can bounce around and, more importantly, bad ideas can be strangled at birth. Over the years I have become suspicious of solo, electronica/techno artists who disappear into studios and churn out quality- uncontrolled albums with great frequency.
Anyway to Liber Dogma...even after numerous listens, I still feel the desire to keep playing this. The Black Dog really are in the Premiership of mixers and Liber Dogma plays as (pretty much) a continuous track. It is best viewed in this way and listening to individual 30 second samples rather draws you into believing that this is a collection of 13 songs. In some ways it is, and in some ways it isn't. Each track flows from the previous to produce something which is greater than the sum of its parts...although the parts are excellent too. If you like a tune that you can whistle on the bus, then this probably isn't for you but similarly this collection of dark, brooding, rhythmic beats are peppered with enjoyable and interesting melodies and refrains which set the piece apart from much techno.
If after this, you feel you want more, then there is always Liber Collected which is a collection of EPs (and remixes) of about this Black Dog period. It is available on amazon but never comes up (for me) under a 'The Black Dog' search.
I love Liber Collected just as much and I'd review it...but no one would ever see the review.