Archive for Heavy metal music

DECIMATUS – The Betrayer

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 11th February 2012 by Pieni

Band: DECIMATUS
Album: The Betrayer
Release date: January 2012
Genre: Heavy / Thrash Metal
Label: BlueFreya

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It seems that Melbourne, Australia, gave up on heavy metal. But five guys refused to accept it and decided to start a band and play “the music they love that no one else is playing”. So here’s the first recorded effort of those guys, who call themselves DECIMATUS.

Don’t let the delicate melody of “The Stand Off” deceive you. It’s just an intro, and the proof that they know more than just shredding away. Which is what they do on the following song, the title-track “The Betrayer”, old school thrash metal style. Loud guitars, militant screams (both main and backup), and the bass line is powerful enough that doesn’t get smothered by the heavy drums.

“Bury You” follows the same path, while “Of The Wicked” tries a bit less aggressive approach, or at least a different kind of aggression, with some whispered and spoken vocals and cranking guitar riffs still keeping it heavy.

“Killing Time” stands up for its title, being the fastest track of this batch, and “Decimate” the “darkest”- a song that will hardly start a mosh pit but will keep the heads banging from beginning to end.

4/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Gaia Em Peso fest @ Molin old factory [Live Review]

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , on 3rd November 2011 by Pieni

Bands: Damage My God, Gates Of Hell, Equaleft, Pandora, Junkywax, Hellcome, Flatten, Negative Ground
Location: Molin old factory, Canelas (Portugal)
Date: 30th October 2011

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Gaia em Peso (which translates to something like “Gaia in Heaviness”) is a Portuguese festival for amateur bands. Amateur in the sense that they don’t make a living out of it – the performance of most of them is quite professional.
So for 5 € only you have the chance to see 42 bands in 5 days, and you can drink beer for 50 cents and eat meat sandwiches also for 50 cents. Profit is definitely not the goal: just fun!
Sadly, I could only attend one of those days, but I still think it’s worth to share it – especially since Valkyrian reviewed the latest EP of headliners Equaleft.

The first band of the evening was Negative Ground, who had also played in last year’s edition of the fest. I remembered them as a heavy metal band, but now they sounded a bit more thrashier. Singer Bala was even wearing a Megadeth t-shirt, as if backing up my opinion. Still, the basis remains in hard/heavy.
The new bass player, Nelson, brought some life to the band’s performance, as he moves along with his playing, while his predecessor only banged his head. But then again, this heavier attitude of the band itself makes it easier to do so.
They haven’t released anything new since last year, so the EP “New World Order Arrives” is still their latest work. The crowd wasn’t that big in the beginning of the show, but whoever was there applauded, raised their arms in the air and screamed “hey!” along the guitars, which are the strongest element in Negative Ground’s music.

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Flatten have been gathering fans in the Portuguese underground with their live performances. They are still recording their first EP, which I believe will be released in 2012, but many in the crowd seemed to recognise some of the songs. And those who didn’t, welcomed them anyway.
Their music is basically thrash – old school like Slayer mixed with post-thrash like Machine Head. And then Evandro puts a death metal touch on the vocals, making the songs sound even more aggressive.
It was Evandro’s birthday, so everybody sang “happy birthday” to him at some point of the concert.
“Death Line” is their most known track so far, so I’m pretty sure it was the one they played last – right between the riffs of Slayer’s “South Of Heaven” in the beginning and “Raining Blood” in the end.

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I don’t know very well how to define the following band, Hellcome. Apparently they started as a thrash metal band, some 14 years ago. But what they played that night was anything but. On MySpace they define themselves as metal/rock, but I would add “alternative” to that mixture. Good musicians, you could feel a solid musical background in both performance and songwriting, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. And to say the voice didn’t impress me is an understatement. Luckily, we all have different tastes and there were people enjoying their gig.
In 2000 they won the Rocklusos award for best demotape, with “Broken Society”, and they started the gig with two of the three songs from that demo, “Running Locomotive” and “Breathe”. The setlist says they covered Sepultura’s “Slave New World” but I honestly didn’t hear it. The last song, “Cry At The Moon”, isn’t featured in any of their three demos, so I believe it’s a brand new one.

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Artchoke cancelled their show (don’t know why) so there was a bigger intermission for dinner. Around 21:00, Junkywax got on stage.
This was another band I remembered from a previous edition (2009, I believe) and they also sounded different – a lot different! If it wasn’t for the girl on the bass, Alexandra, I would even think I was mistaken and this wasn’t the same band – although a weird name like this is kind of hard to forget. But it was – they simply went from alternative/grunge to sludge/southern rock, sticking to the original name as they “didn’t want to forget their roots”.
They played that sludgy metalcore for half an hour, presenting us the demo/EP “Pure Power Rising” that they’ve released this year. One of the songs (didn’t understand the title – if singer André said it at all) was punk rock, so I presume it was older. It started with bass and Alexandra also sang in the chorus.

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Pandora was a complete novelty for me, although I recognised those kids’ faces from off the stage, at other concerts.
Not exactly an original name, and the sound doesn’t bring anything new either, but they did very good – especially when the band was formed barely two years ago. They know how to be on stage and deliver a good performance, and the heavy metal spiced with thrash and nu that they play kept everybody entertained.
I don’t think they have anything recorded yet, but it’s good – it will give them time to grow a bit more as a band, and polish some rough edges with the experience on stage.

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Gates Of Hell should be next, but singer Raça hadn’t showed up yet. Damage My God ‘s own singer wasn’t there yet either, so they couldn’t play either. Headliners Equaleft ended up playing 2 hours before schedule, not closing that day’s bill after all. But no one in that band cares about status – they just want to play, no matter if that happens in the beginning, middle or end of the festival.
Guitarist Maglor couldn’t be there, for personal reasons, meaning the Star Wars Storm Trooper mask on “Invigorate” was a no show either. Replacing him was Pedro from Gates Of Hell – brother of the bass player, Filipe, who also plays guitar in GOH. The Portuguese underground is one big happy family.
Singer Miguel was surprised to see so many moshers on a cold Sunday night, but there they were, circle after circle and screaming along the chorus of songs like “Suffer No More”, “Sleep When I’m Dead” or “Alone In Emptiness”. Miguel himself kept jumping, but that’s nothing new.

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It was the first time I’ve seen Gates Of Hell with Raça on vocals, after he replaced Zé a few months ago. But I already knew him very well from Revolution Within, so I was sure it would be a great show. And it was. His strong voice fits the band as a glove, enhancing the thrash parts which were once overwhelmed by the death ones.
They played songs from their EP “Shadows Of The Dark Ages” and some new stuff which they are currently working on and recording. Should be out next year.
Miguel from Equaleft joined them on stage to help singing “Whoremaggeddon”, and the cover of Pantera’s “Fucking Hostile” was the moshpit’s highlight.

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Last but not least, Damage My God. Band formed not too long ago, but its musicians come from way back. Also labelled as thrash/death, but more the latter than the first. Really aggressive performance. They’ve recently released a 5-song EP, “F.U.C.K.”, which stands for “Fuck Underground CocksucKers”, so that alone tells you something about their attitude towards the music scene – even at an underground level.
One of the songs had to be interrupted right on the first minute – not sure if due a technical problem or a human mistake. But the mosh resumed as soon as Damage My God restarted to play, as if nothing had happened. It was past 1 a.m. but the adrenaline was still high.

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After the concerts, who ended at two in the morning, a MJ (metal jockey) entertained the last survivors. I left after Metallica’s “One” and Pantera’s “Cemetary Gates”.

4.5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Hamerex – Rites of Passage [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 29th October 2011 by izaforestspirit

Band: Hamerex
Album: Rites of Passage
Release year: 2011
Genre: Thrash/Heavy Metal

‘Rites of Passage’ is the debut album from British heavy metal band Hamerex. Some of the tracks have been released previously as EPs and demos.

There is an evident Slayer influence here, particularly in the vocals and the guitar riffs on tracks such as ‘The Headless Horseman’ and the guitar solo in ‘Hypnotise’. Luckily for Hamerex, they actually make this work. The highlights include ‘The Lycan’, which features a catchy guitar intro, great solos and an equally catchy chorus making it destined to become a mosh-pit favorite and ‘The Gates of Hades’ with its catchy guitar riffs.

The only disappointments are the title track and ‘Waste Away’ which both suffer from a case of mismatched backing and lead vocals which resemble howling at times. Good news is that the rest of the music is so good you can actually look past this.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Northsong – Winter’s Dominion [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 18th June 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Northsong
Album: Winter’s Dominion EP
Release year: 2011
Genre: Symphonic Viking Metal

Northsong is the solo project of American musician Cortland Runyon. “Winter’s Dominion” is the debut EP, due for release 24th June 2011.

”Prelude” begins with the sound of wind, which is eventually replaces by a symphonic section, semi-audible drums and a guitar section. The symphonic sections are grand and majestic, giving the EP a very regal feel. The track is very keyboard heavy, as the guitars only have a small part on this track, however the stream of double bass pedal throughout the majority of the track doesn’t blend well with the symphonic elements. “Mountains Of Madness” begins where “Prelude” finishes. The intro keyboard section has a very Gladiator soundtrack feel to it. The drums can be barely heard over the guitars, keyboards and vocals. The vocals are very death metal-influenced. The guitar sections are rough and aggressive whilst the vocal sections sound very distorted.

”Heathen War” begins with a fast paced and brutal guitar riff. The keyboard sections are epic and heroic-sounding, making the track somewhat sagaic. The drums are still semi-audible. The guitars remain fast paced throughout most of the track, stopping only for a symphonic break halfway through the track and one at the end. Next is “Desperation”. The intro riff is slower compared to that of the previous track. The vocals are still going strong, though still sounding distorted in some sections of the track. The keyboard riffs, however, are thing that stand out most about this track.

The title track, “Winter’s Dominion” begins with a calm, melodic intro mixed with an epic symphonic medley. A fast paced drum section joins in soon after, ruining the intro slightly due to the contrast in speed between the two. The track turns heavier with the introduction of the guitars. The drums however remain seemingly weak. The final track is a cover of Windrider’s “Let Death Be Our Pride”. The track is pretty much exactly like the original except for a slower tempo, weak drums and different vocals, though the clean vocals sound eerily similar to the ones found on the original. However, it is a surprisingly good cover.

”Winter’s Dominion” is a good EP though there is much room for improvement. The EP could have been more enjoyable if the drums were heavier and some parts of the tracks were produced better. However, it is a good debut EP and shows potential for Northsong.

4/5

Nico Davidson

Rhapsody Of Fire – From Chaos To Eternity [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 14th June 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Rhapsody Of Fire
Album: From Chaos To Eternity
Release year: 2011
Genre: Power Metal/Symphonic Metal

Rhapsody Of Fire have been a dominating force in both the Italian and European metal scenes. “From Chaos To Eternity” is the last album based on the fantasy saga that started with the band’s 1997 debut album “Legendary Tales” and is the first album to feature the band’s newest member Tom Hess.

The short lived track “Ad Infinitum” , which is Latin for “Endlessly”, is the first track of “From Chaos To Eternity”. The track is mainly composed of the technical guitar work of Luca Turilli combined with the epic narration of Christopher Lee. It is a brilliant opener for the album in true Rhapsody fashion. The title track, “From Chaos To Eternity” carries on from where “Ad Infinitum” finishes.  The track is already at a good start with the acute riffs and epic sounding piano sections. Fabio’s vocals are stronger than ever, the drums are masterfully played and the bass sections are pure genius. The third track, Tempesta Di Fuoco, which roughly translated means “Firestorm” in Italian, shreds its way next with a fast paced, technical intro riff mixed with some epic symphonic sections. There is use of some acoustic sections which brings a certain calm to the track whilst the piano only section takes away something from the track.

“Ghosts Of Forgotten Worlds” like the previous tracks, starts fast paced and technical, though some of the guitar sections on this track seem to have more bite and aggression.  The vocals blend well with the acoustic sections. The symphonic sections contrast superbly with the violent sound of the track. Even the drums seem to have more punch. The synth and guitar solos make this track one of the best ones on the album. “Anima Perduta”, Italian for “Lost Soul”, begins with the sound of wind followed by a beautiful combination of piano, flute and harpsichord. The vocals are soothing, blending with the solemn atmosphere and sound of the track. The symphonic sections make the track more majestic sounding. The guitars sound as if they don’t belong on the track however. Next is “Aeons Of Raging Darkness”. The introduction is mightily played bass section followed by an epic guitar riff mixed with a sagaic symphonic section. The guitar sections have more a speed metal element to them whilst the piano medleys add a hint of neoclassical to the track. The vocals, to begin with, are raw, aggressive and brutal, blending exceedingly well with the cleaner, operatic vocals. “Aeons Of Raging Darkness” is certainly one of the most aggressive, violent tracks ever to be performed by Rhapsody Of Fire and its a sound that works well for them.

“I Belong To The Stars” begins with a calmer introduction compared to the previous track though the track does soon turn heavy and symphonic. There seems to be more emphasis on the choir and symphony on this track, mixed in with some great piano medleys and strong vocals. Some of the guitar riffs leave much to be desired, as do some of the drum sections, however, the synth solo makes up for it. “Tornado” begins with a dramatic intro and the guitar riffs that follow are great. Like “Aeons Of Raging Darkness”, this track has a very aggressive and violent sound, complete with more harsh black metal screams mixed with the cleaner, more operatic vocals. The drum and guitar sections have improved since the previous track as well.

The last of the album is the almost twenty minute long epic “Heroes Of The Waterfalls’ Kingdom”. Christopher Lee’s narration is the intro, setting a certain legendary atmosphere. The vocals bring a very medieval sound, whilst the slight use of flute works well with the acoustic guitar.  The violin sections are well composed, making the track that much more pleasant to listen to. The symphonic sections signal the approaching metal assault, which was to be expected eventually. Fabio demonstrates his full range on this track, whilst the riffs are more acute and technical than they have been on the album. The harsh vocals can be heard in parts of this track, giving it more bite. The choir sections do seem to ruin the track ever so slightly, however everything else makes up for that. Some of the other guitar sections are more aggressive and barbaric, clearly demonstrating the masterful skills of the guitarists. Christopher Lee’s narration can be heard half way through the track, making it more and more sagaic. There is a conversation between the characters of the saga, which helps bring about a very legend-like feel, especially as it works well with the guitar riffs and symphonic sections. The track ends very solemnly and grandly. A perfect end to the saga.

“From Chaos To Eternity” fully demonstrates how much Rhapsody Of Fire’s sound has changed and mature since their first album. This album is perhaps the best one they’ve written and probably will be the best for a long to come. This is certainly a jewel to have for any fan of symphonic and power metal.

4.5/5

Nico Davidson

Consecrated Flesh – From The Dying Earth [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 14th June 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Consecrated Flesh
Album: From The Dying Earth [Demo]
Release year: 2011
Genre: Black Metal/Thrash Metal

Consecrated Flesh are a thrash and black metal influenced quarter from Lancaster. “From The Dying Earth” is their most recent release.

The demo is already at a good start with the crushing and fast paced riffs of “Bow Down at the Altar Throne”. The drums are a full-on brutal assault and the vocals are grim and terrifyingly good. This is clearly a track that would make for a great mosh pit anthem. Even the length of it makes it immense. “Ethnogenesis” blasts its way next with an aggressive and bloodthirsty sounding intro section. Fast paced riffs and enraged drum sections feature heavily on this track as well, though there is a tremendous slow, light section half way through. The vocals are beastly and remarkable.

The third track, “Meteotsunami” starts with a slower paced riff compared to the previous tracks though the drums and vocals bring the barbaric assault of metal when they make themselves heard. The only problem with this track is that it’s too short when compared to the other three tracks on the demo. The final track, which is also the title track, “From The Dying Earth”, is pretty much the best track of the demo. The violent riffs, brutal and speedy drum sections and extreme and vehement vocals embody what black metal is meant to sound like.

”From The Dying Earth” displays and glorifies the talent of Consecrated Flesh. Each track seemed to be more violent, more aggressive and more passionately played than the previous one. “From The Dying Earth” is a great addition to any black metal fan’s collection.

4.5/5

Nico Davidson

Cryptic Age – Homeland EP [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 13th June 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Cryptic Age
Album: Homeland EP
Release year: 2011
Genre: Folk Metal/Power Metal

Since their formation, Cryptic Age have been a rising star in the British underground metal scene, having shared the stage with the likes of Ravenage, Hecate Enthroned, Windrider and Skyclad. “Homeland” is the first chapter in their epic saga.

The title track, “Homeland”, is the first track of the EP. It begins with the sound of thunder and rain. Vocals are soon heard over the rain. The Manx Gaelic lyrics are a great touch to the track, giving it a very Celtic feel. With the introduction of the symphonic sections, combined with the drums, bass and guitar the track turns aggressive yet beautiful. The vocals are monumentally powerful, more so than most soprano styled vocals. The symphonic elements bring a very intense, epic sound whilst the guitar, bass and drums bring good ol’ fashioned heaviness. The keyboard solo and the guitar solo that follows can only be described as “sagaic”.

”On The Cold Bare Ground” is the second track of the EP, beginning with a dark and mysterious sounding riff. The riff eventually transforms into a something heavier for a short while before going back to the softer, darker riff. The track does turn heavier again though with an increase in tempo. The vocals ring strongly throughout the track. The drum work is acute and precise. Like the previous track, the solos are mind-blowing.

The third track, “Bring Down The Sky” begins very folky, with an acoustic intro and a long symphonic note. The vocals work very well with this intro, conjuring up images of a small Celtic village. The drums add a new dynamic to the track as well. Whilst the first half of this track is slow paced, the second half increases the tempo. The guitar solo is astounding, brutal and masterfully played. The wittily named “No Folkin’ Way” is the second to last track of this so far majestic EP. Like the previous track, it has an acoustic and symphonic intro, though it is short lived before the electric guitar dominates. The symphonic sections are grand sounding, blending well with the guitar riffs, bass and drums. The only downside to this track is the lack of vocals.

The last track is “Paragons Of War”. Straight from the beginning, there is a somewhat heroic-sagaic sound resonating from the combination of drums, bass, guitars and keyboards. The vocals complete the track, adding a very majestic touch to it. The guitar and bass sections are brilliantly played and the drums are definitely are a highlight of the track. And the solos are nothing short of grand and noble.

Cryptic Age, despite been young, are clearly a talented quartet of musicians. No doubt that “Homeland” is but the first chapter in a long and legendary saga for these Yorkshire lads and lass. Female fronted metal has never sounded so good.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Thurisaz – The Cimmerian Years [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 12th June 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Thurisaz
Album: The Cimmerian Years
Release Year: 2011
Genre: Atmospheric Blackened Death Metal

Thurisaz, named after the rune of the same name, have been dominating the Belgian metal scene since 1997 with their blend of atmospheric black metal and death metal. The blackened death metal quintet have returned with their most recent album “The Cimmerian Years”.

“Broken” is the first track of the album. It’s not an impressive track as such, due to slow drum section at the beginning and the use of bass and acoustic guitar mixed in with some strange sounds. However the track doe improve within the last few seconds of the track with the introduction of a heavier, more distorted guitar riff.  Fortunately, it’s only a short track. “My Precious Unknown” begins where “Broken” finished. The guitar riff has a touch of old skool black metal to it’s composition and the drums are brilliantly played. The riff changes before the vocals can be properly heard. The harsh vocals aren’t as good as one would expect, as they sound very strained. The clean vocals, however, are pretty good, blending well with the grunts and screams.

The third track, “Second Mirror”, is next beginning with a faded in guitar intro which gradually become louder. The keyboard sections work brilliantly with the drums and guitars and the screams sound much better than the previous track. The riffs seem to have more technicality to them. The clean vocals make an appearance on this track as well, bringing some softness to the brutality of the track. “Second Mirror” is certainly an improvement in the album, especially after the two previous tracks. The track ends on an aggressive yet symphonic styled note.

”No Regrets” comes next, beginning with a strange voice talking. The aggression of the guitars and drums come bursting on straight after, combined with the calmness of the keyboards which bring about a very dramatic atmosphere. The screams are still going strong and the grunts have become more powerful as well. Parts of this track have a very “Hecate Enthroned” styled sound which makes it more enjoyable. The last half of the track is dominated by clean vocals though the screams and grunts can still be heard, fortunately enough for those you aren’t a fan of clean vocals. “Fare Thee Well”, the fifth track on the album, begins with clean vocals which are followed by a slow paced riff and drum beat. The use of deep clean vocals gives the track a very bleak and depressing sound while the grunts bring the much needed aggression. The track increases in pace and heaviness eventually, though towards the end it goes back to been slow placed and lighter.

”The Carnival of Miscreation” has a power metal sound to begin with which is soon replaced when the vocals make themselves heard. The track has a brilliant contrast in sound between the melodic sections and brutal riffs. The clean vocals slightly ruin the track in certain sections however the screams make up for it. The piano section half through is both solemn and hypnotic. “Inner Voices” follows after, composed entirely of vocals and acoustic guitar, which sets a very calm mood for the listener. The clean vocals work well with the acoustic riff, which is no surprise. “Unhealed” brings back the aggression and brutality. The screams are a welcome change to the previous track as well. Part of the track turns softer for a while, with just piano and drums and some female vocals. The brutality does return however, combined with clean vocals and screams.

The last track of the album is “A Glance of Misperception”. The intro is eerie and soft. The brutality comes in eventually at a slow pace. The guitars bring some melody to the track as well. It’s almost three minutes into the track before any vocals are heard. After the first vocal section, the track turns soft again. Vocals can be heard of the eerie piano medley as well during in the second soft section of the track. Fortunately the track turns brutal again with the introduction of the grunts.

Despite the first two tracks, “The Cimmerian Years” is a brilliant album and it’s easy to see why “Thurisaz” have dominated to the Belgian metal scene. This is a must have album for any fan of atmospheric blackened death metal.

4/5

Nico Davidson

Benedictum – Dominion [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 21st February 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

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