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Wow. Holy shit.
When you first play this CD you will not even believe how much sound Dominia managed to pack into this recording. It's absolutely fucking enormous sounding. Much as Dimmu Borgir is produced, the production is very very dense. This could be the best produced CD in extreme metal in quite some time. Now, on to the music itself.
Dominia uses an amazing blend of heavy rhythm riffing, violin, and dense scary ENORMOUS midrange vocals. The opening track "The Prophecy" is awestriking, and nothing short of it. Every riff is perfect. The song structure is pristine. Don't let Dominia's tag of "symphonic" throw you - this is not obnoxious overdone string stupidity. This is not folky nonsense. Oh, no. This is absolutely unique and powerful melodic death metal with dense, thick production.
When I first heard this CD, I said to myself, "Christ, this is what Kalmah (Finland) wishes they sounded like". Nothing against Kalmah, mind you, but this is in another league entirely. There are some definite Finnish melodeath influences in the music, but as far as I'm concerned, this CD eclipses them all. The songwriting is superior. The production couldn't get much better, if at all. The performances on the CD are stellar.
Much to my surprise, when violins are used in modern extreme metal, they're almost always tastefully done. Of course there always has to be a few bands that are downright obnoxious with their use of strings, but Dominia really shows how they should be used. Everything right down to the scant and tastefully used clean vocals is rock-solid.
Admittedly, I can't see how a CD could ever get a 100 rating, but this one is damn close. I guess if they put a couple slightly better songs on the CD, it could have been rated higher? There really isn't a weak point on the CD.
There's something for everyone here, truly.
"The Darkness Of Bright Life" starts off with a nasty slam riff, and is quickly complimented by orchestral string stabs. In come the over-the-top psychotic-but-controlled vocals that this CD features. Listening to this song makes one appreciate that despite the relative simplicity of the riffs and such, the footprint is immense.
I really hope that this band steps up from this point and exceeds this, because I can't even imagine how they could top this. I want to know.