Dominion - _Blackout_
by: Pedro Azevedo (
After their successful debut, _Interface_, Dominion take the dangerous step of releasing a second album. Higher expectations always follow a successful debut; _Blackout_ turns out to be a very good album, but not a breakthrough. Their unique use of female vocals still makes Dominion stand out from the rest -- the vocals don't feature the usual chanting, soprano-like style usually heard in melodic doom and symphonic black metal (a vocal style which I usually like). Rather, and while they also use male vocals, the female voices attempt to fit the music and not just provide strong contrast with the background sound, even though some of the contrast is still there, of course, as the vocals are mostly very melodic. That's well achieved by Dominion's female singer (and model in the nice album cover), Michelle -- who has also done some vocals for Anathema in their _Eternity_ (which I'd now rate 9 out of 10). The album has a great production and the sound is as heavy as before, if not heavier; furthermore, _Blackout_ has fewer melodic parts than _Interface_. The band relies more on rhythmic sequences to captivate the listener than on melodies. Notice the highly talented drumming, especially on "Down", "Prism", and "Threshold", and the quality bass work. By the way, Dominion's drummer, Bill Law, is expected to be responsible for the drumming on the next My Dying Bride album. A final note on the rating: having rated _Blackout_ 8 out of 10, it'd be unfair for _Interface_ to remain rated 7; in fact, I should have given the debut an 8 out of 10 as well [see CoC #18], as I still like it slightly better than _Blackout_. This way both albums get the rating they deserve.
(article published 1/1/1998)
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