Release: September 21, 2018

Label: Spinefarm

Genre: Black Metal

Band: Eric Peterson – Vocals/Guitar/Bass, Lyle Livingston – Keyboards/Piano/Orchestrations, Alex Bent – Drums

Thirteen years is an awful long stretch between records, but thankfully Dragonlord don’t seem to have lost any energy during that extended lapse. This is not to say that Dominion is a perfect record, however. I am not a fan of tracks like the album opener, “Entrance.” Short instrumentals that waste half of the running time with sound samples are a pet peeve of mine. It comes across as wasted space in what is an otherwise good opening track. However, once over that speed bump, Dominion is an outstanding record. With 8 tracks clocking in at just under 45 minutes, there is not a lot of space for filler. The production is crystal clear, with each instrument fitting neatly into a defined sonic area. The guitars in particular boast a fullness and bite that is not often heard in black metal, at least not in my experience with the genre. Of course, I would expect nothing less, given the band’s pedigree. Eric Peterson also turns out a strong vocal performance. The drums sound good, and not overly artificial or muddy and undefined, as is too often the case in modern rock and metal music. In terms of songwriting, the tracks are all structured quite well with no awkward or lazy transitions, even during the albums lengthiest tracks. The occasional injection of thrash elements helps keep the record from falling into a monotone black metal blast fest, as does the occasional injection of female choir vocals.

When a band releases a record after such a long lapse in time, listening to it is always a bit of a crapshoot. Sometimes you get At War With Reality, other times you get a monstrosity like King Animal or Illud Divinum Insanus. Thankfully, this is more in line with the former. If you find yourself pining for the bygone days when mainstream black metal didn’t come with hipster nazi haircuts, Portland pretentiousness, and pseudo ambience and actually sounded, well, metal, then give Dominion a spin.

 

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