Certainly one of the most consistent bands to offer us material over the last few years, Dominus now make their first official studio strike with the full line up that has long been needed to bring mainman Ollie’s great material our of the PC and onto the stage.
Sounding thick and treacly, notes to old Cannibal Corpse and the ever present Incantation could easily be sounded, and form the bulk of the demo’s influence. One song on here however stands high and mighty above the rest, hopefully pointing toward what they can achieve in future.
“Incestual Deviance”, despite its rather aged title, shows the mark of a band really honing their songwriting. Possessed of an almost Immolation-esque ability to reach the darkly anthemic and with a weighty crunch echoing Yattering’s slow brooder “Rapists Victim” (which again despite the hackneyed title is a masterclass in moody death metal), if they could write and album’s worth of that standard the mind would surely boggle.
Elsewhere we’re in much more familiar territory that is solid but not quite as brilliantly inspiring. The drums seem a little naked with no rolls whatsoever that I can discern – the blasts are present and solid, but the lack of shade and embellishment without the toms robs the material a little.
Maybe they just weren’t mic’d up well enough during recording, as tends to happen to a lot of demos, but to my ears at least there just isnt any in here. All in all, one can certainly hear that Dominus are reaching to add a little class to their death metal. How far they can take this objective remains to be seen, but the chances are good on the basis of this demo.
This may well be Ollie’s fourth demo, but remains the band’s first as a whole. In that respect it is an indicator as to what will happen in the future, rather than what is going on now; the band format has paradoxically both widened and limited Ollie’s riffing possibilities, and so this must be viewed as a band afresh.
If they can keep up the lofty standard of “Incestual Deviance” they will be an incredible proposition. For now this shows promise both of darkness and class, which is something that death metal in 2005 could do with a good reminder of.
–Earl Grey ::: 15/02/05