Technical death metal is not an easy genre to exactly get into and let alone enjoy instantly. Just like ordinary death metal, you will find a slew of albums and bands that have a very technical aspect in their music but they find ways to distinguish themselves from other bands. Like Nile
for example, who have an extremely fast and frantic (and Egyptian themed) style of technical death metal while Theory In Practice
puts more innovation into the guitar work and not into the brutality. Technical death metal is not exactly a typical style to any country and therefore there are few countries that have technical death metal as a huge music export. Dominion
is a band from Sweden who has specialized themselves in the brutal aspects of technical music, and like most bands, Dominion
have their own uniqueness in their music. Everything is based around insanely technical, complex, and half-groovy guitar work. The drumming consists of many types of breakneck-speed patterns like ferocious blast-beats, rapid-fire pedal work and a slew of other impressive fills and beats.
Born God And Aware
is their only album to date but due to the extremely difficult music one could wonder if they will ever release another album that could match this one. One thing that makes Dominion
special is the fact that the crew consists of only two members, Victor Brandt
and Jocke Olofsson
. Victor takes care of the growls, guitars and bass duties while Jocke is responsible for the drumming and backup vocals. But there are some bands that tend to play in such complex ways that you could start to question their real abilities. Do they really have total control and focus or are they just mindlessly picking randomly on as strings as possible just so it sounds technical" Dominion
is stuck in between those two arguments to be quite honest. During some tracks the guitar riffing and soloing really get out of hand but in other tracks the guitars appears to be more focused and structured. Born God And Aware
is nonetheless a great example of brutal technical death metal album that really packs a lethal punch. The tracks have no boundaries, they are all pushing forward with immense force. The album is a havoc in itself but there are some things that are worth mentioning, both positive and negative aspects.
All in all, Born God And Aware
fulfils all the standard needs in technical death metal but there are at least three things about this album that might annoy potential listeners. First of all we have the growls; at least half of all the death metal bands out there have a vocalist with a really good “clear” growl. But not Victor, his growls are so murky that you can’t hear what he is saying. Throughout the whole record you will be engaged by thick, murky and utterly guttural growling. The only moments you will hear some sort of variation is when the drummer is screaming in the background, and unfortunately it doesn't happen as often as you could've hoped for. The second thing is the guitars. There are actually two sub-aspects regarding the guitars that might (or will) annoy listeners. This comes in the form of the actual guitar sound and the complex riffing style. The guitar sound has a very gritty but also sloppy kind of sound, probably due to its poor production levels. Take any other metal album to compare this to and you can tell that this album has a really odd guitar sound. Finally we have the riffing. Wankery or not, Viktor has some really tight and nasty guitar skills. Every track is breathing of wacky and extremely tight techniques. But there are a couple of moments when the riffing really gets out of hand and it basically becomes too much. The riff-lines actually get unnecessarily complex at times.
Despite a couple of flaws, this will eventually be up the listener to judge the album. Dominion
really stands out in the technical death metal genre, especially in Sweden where almost every tech-band sounds like [i]Visceral Bleeding[i] and Spawn Of Possession
. Victor is one sick guitarist; he could easily deliver just as much guitar picking as two guitarists could at the same time. Born God And Aware
is not an easy album to get into at the beginning. The music is somewhat monotonous and the track variety isn't really the most diverse either. Thanks to Victor's utterly brutal voice, extraordinary guitar work and energetic music structures, this compensates for most of these flaws. Fans of modern technical death metal should get this because there are not many bands that sound like Dominion
. Fans of brutal death metal should also find this album to their liking.
+ Really insane guitar performance
+ Very guttural and intimidating growls
+ Decent variety among the tracks
+ Jocke's backup vocals actually adds some nice diversity
- The growls tends to get a bit too murky
- The guitar sounds awfully low-tech
-- Legion Dominion
-- Dominance Hierarchy
-- Temple Of Insects
Final rating: 4/5