Ophthalamia - _Dominion_
(No Fashion Records, 1998)
by: David Rocher (
Still bearing in mind the very lame _Via Dolorosa_, which stood out as one of the feeblest albums to plague the year 1995, I welcomed _Dominion_ with a knowledgeable, not-very-lenient grin, and sharpened my keyboard as I got ready to carve this sucker into strips. In fact, the grin instantly faded as the beautiful guitar lead of "Elishias Mistresses Gather" kicked in; slow, beautiful, heavy Swedish dark metal is truly what _Dominion_ has on offer. Fantastic, lyrical, dark melodies (that succeed, despite their sweetness, in never giving in to vomitory goo a la Theatre of Tragedy) combine with a very heavy rhythmic section to create a mysterious, epic work of Swedish dark metal that occasionally indulges in a bit of rock'n'roll guitar work... Sparingly used synthetics back up the beautiful, freezing cold guitar lines on _Dominion_ and succeed in finely carving a deadly, calculated yet emotive masterpiece. It seems that Ophthalamia have finally found a stable line-up in the presence of It, Mist, All, Bone and Night -- this man being no less than Jon Notveidt's brother, his presence may explain the sometimes striking musical similarities of present-day Ophthalamia with a slower, more lyrical interpretation of the mighty Dissection. [Since All is not in the scene anymore (he fled to Finland after Jon Notveidt threatened to kill him) the line-up again lacks stability -- Paul]
(article published 1/16/1999)
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