Review Summary: For i am the bringer of war...
In an attempt to promote more some bands, which are not so famous in larger audiences, this time we make a halt to one of Italy's finest. Domine have been out there for more than 2 decades and their style is a mix of symphonic/speed/power metal with epic lyrics. Of course, like in any italian band, keyboards play an essential role here, but not so grandiose as in the releases of their compatriots "Rhapsody" and "Labyrinth". They consist of 5 members (typical italian quintet):
Morby (Adolfo Morviducci) - vocals
Enrico Paoli - guitar
Riccardo Paoli - bass
Riccardo Iacono - keyboards
Stefano Bonini - drums
After their succesful (among the ranks of the speed/heavy/true/epic metal scene) debut album "Champion eternal" in 1997, they returned in 1999 with "Dragonlord (Tales of the Noble Steel)", to meet some more commercial success. This had to do mostly with the quality of the material they produced, but also with the fact that the scene was returning strong at that point.
What we have here is a marvelous musical journey through Elric of Melnibone's chronicles, written by M. Moorcock. Their lyrical themes are stronlgy influenced by his work, throughout their entire career. The lyrics are epic, though not on the foundation of kill-die, sword- shield themes, but mostly on narrating concepts of the saga (Dragonlord) or constructing up-lifting metal battle anthems (Metal Defenders). Musically, they put out elements refering both to Manowar and Iron Maiden with the addition of keyboards, but not particularly reminding either of them. As a result of that, they sound original enough to be easily distinguished from the thick numbers of the average/mediocre bands of that era. The tempos range from mid to fast and lightning fast and this adds on the replay value of this release. Both couples and choruses are inviting to sing along and they provide some very pleasant tunes. Production is heavy and clear, every instrument shines equally and that's perfect for the overall balance.
Special praise must be given to the guitar parts and the vocals. Guitarist Enrico Paoli, a true descendant of the italian school, is riffing heavily when he has to and on the other side, delivering beautiful technical and melodic solos. The vocalist Morby is a tenor with a unique rawness in his voice, surely adding to their originality. His execution on the finish of "Metal defenders" is equal to that by Midnight in "Red sharks".
If we have to press it hard, we could agree to some more glorious moments, like "Thunderstorm"(with the epic intro), "Blood brothers fight", "Metal Defenders" and "Dragonlord", but this release is pretty solid overall.
In conclusion, this band never got the attention it deserved, despite their strong and solid albums. Their sound may not be polished and overproduced like the one by Rhapsody, but certainly, it's worth to check them out!