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Dominus | ‘Dominus’ Demo

Dominus hail from Co. Cork, and are comprised of vocalist Richie Hogan and multi-instrumentalist Oliver O’Shea.

This sprawling demo clocks up an impressive half hours length, and has obviously taken a very long time to construct. Having been recorded on 4 track and with programmed drums, subsequently being transferred to cd, the sound is exceptionally poor.

But good music easily outshines piss productions and Dominus is a case in point. Its simply packed with ideas – each song lasts around the five minute mark, comprising fairly complex and labyrinthine arrangements. A diverse mix of blasting and slower groove, Morbid Angel’s “Covenant” has clearly been an influence in the riffing department.

Opener “Betrayal” however sounds strangely akin to Immortal’s “Blizzard Beasts” – the same maix of taut chordal work over the thunderous undertow.

This mix of infuences all gels very nicely – although one is aware at all times that the drums are computerised, it is compelling to think what a suitably able human would be able to add.

The whole sound is fairly obscure and tenebrous, not only on account of the necro production values – it has a discernable early ninties vibe about it.

The clarity improves massively when the material slows down and the more weighty riffs are allowed to shine through, which they do with considerable power on “Point of Release”, which showcases some Azagthoth influenced solo ideas toward the end.

The vocals havent really been mixed adequately, as for too often they are much farther forward in the mix than necessary, giving the impression that they have been overlaid as an afterthought instead of being integral to the delivery.

If these two lads can get into a proper studio and find a drummer capable of their faster stuff the results could be utterly punishing. If the drum machine must stay however then we can content oursleves that any properly produced studio effort will give us some of the best riffwork this isle has seen in many a moon.

Get your fingers out lads! If this material gets a chance it’ll destroy, but at present the sound quality is just too great a hindrance to repeat listening.

– Earl Grey ::: 12/01/02

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