Benedictum – Dominion [2011]

Band: Benedictum
Album: Dominion
Release Year: 2011
Genre: Heavy Metal/Power Metal

 

“Dominion” is the latest release by American Metal band “Benedictum”.

The album begins with the title track “Dominion”. The track begins with an eerie guitar sound combined with hypnotic keyboards before the track turns heavy. The vocals soon come in, which sound like a rougher and more raw version of Dio’s vocals. There is a slight use of death metal grunts about half way through the track, giving it a certain intensity and mystique. The drums sound perfectly timed, almost robotic even. The guitar solo sounds superb as well. The second track “At The Gates” which begins with the singular ringing of a church bell followed by a fast paced tom roll. The guitars that follow have an old skool feel to them, which makes the track that much more enjoyable.  The vocals sound great and the drums work really well with the guitar riffs on this track. The guitar solo is astounding.

“Seer” comes next and it begins with an old skool sounding riff. The use of soft and raw vocals throughout the track is a brilliant addition to the album. “Grind It” comes straight after. It begins with a quick bass intro before the vocals and guitars kick in.  The use of death metal styled grunts appears again on this track, which seem to fit in great with the intensity of the guitar and drums. The guitar solo has an old skool meets new skool kind of sound and feel, which works well with the rest of the track. The next track is “Prodigal Son” which has more of a modern sound. The vocals sound more raw and rough than the previous track and there is a use of double bass pedals, which makes the track that much more heavier. The tracks turns slightly “industrial metal” sounding for a short while before the guitar solo kicks in, but it surprisingly doesn’t take away from the brilliance of the track.

The sixth tack “The Shadowlands” is next.  It begins with an eerie, tribal-sounding intro before a somewhat epic guitar riff comes into play. The bass sounds very clear on this track as well. The drums seem to have lost their intensity and the vocals sound a bit iffy throughout parts of the track. The only great section of this track is the solo, the vast majority of the rest of the track is mediocre at best. “Beautiful Pain” comes next. It’s the shortest track on the album, consisting of a sorrowful guitar solo and the organ & choir effects of a keyboard. “Dark Heart” follows after. It begins with soft vocals and a piano medley before turning heavy. The vocals soon turn rough and raw and the drums sound more intense than what they were on “The Shadowlands”. The bass sounds clear again. The guitar solo on this track is more than likely the best one on the album.

The next track is “Bang”, which begins with a whistle and then a hypnotic drum beat before the bass and guitar begin doing their thing. The vocals sound more aggressive in some sections of the track. The riffs on this track are just amazing. This would be have to be the best track on the album! “Loud Silence” comes next, beginning with a slow, melodic riff before turning heavy but still melodic with a brilliant use of keyboards just before the vocals come in. It is a fairly soft track compared to the rest of the album but it is one of the best tracks. “Epsilon” is the the last track. It begins with a beautiful keyboard intro which leads into the drums and guitars. The pace increases well the guitar takes over the track. The bass can be heard clearly in sections of the track and combined with the keyboards and drums, it just adds a certain level of epicness to the track that only the truly talented can achieve.  The vocals don’t make an appearance until almost three minutes into the track. The vocals have retained their Dio sound from the first track, which is always, always a good thing.

“Dominion” is perhaps one of the best metal albums you’ll find in this day and age. With Dio-sounding vocals, epic guitar riffs and solos, amazing keyboards, awesome bass and drums, combined with brilliant production and sound quality, this album is a must-have for any true metal fan.

5/5

Nico Davidson

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