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I have to admit that I owned this album for some time before actually getting around to listening to it - we're talking months here - and this is one of those times that you put a CD on you forgot about and get completely knocked onto your behind by just how good it is.
Now let's get something straight. I've never particularly been a fan of the vast majority of "tech-death" bands and those who have the label thrust on them, as invariably it's all about what I call the 'widdle' - or over-enthusiastic overdoing of pinch harmonics & sweep picking simply for the sake of it - with little or no balls to back it up with.
There is something deceptively enticing about 'Born God And Aware' that appeals to even someone as apathetic towards 'tech death' as me. After numerous attempts at trying to synopse why that is and failing to hit the nail on the head conclusively, I gave up and just settled into the fact that this is one of Unique Leaders most promising signings - and I'd probably push it further, to say one of their most promising bands ever.
Their is a rich textures of various death metal nuances for the picking on this album. Yes there are undeniably parts and sounds present which would class as "technical" - which in itself is becoming such an obsolete cliché - but there are just as equal amounts of groove, riffs, hooks and just about everything else you could want in a band.
For example, album opener sets the initial mood by blasting out from the proverbial blocks and leading you into the assumption that this will be a predominantly 'blasturbation' based affair along the lines of say Origin.
Track three however, the insanely infectious 'A Demonstration Of Domination' belies in more explicit form the groove behind the bands music and I imagine is most definately a crowd favourite when played live.
In short, 'Born God And Aware' is someway between an amalgamation of bands like Spawn Of Possession & Hour Of Penance and something completely different. 'The best of both worlds' if you will.
I wouldn't go quite so far as to say it was quite on the same awe-striking level as Hour Of Penance's 'The Vile Conception' album released earlier this year, but those who enjoyed that particular release would no doubt find lots to enjoy about 'Born God And Aware' in equal measures.
The sole regret I have about owning this CD is that I didn't listen to it sooner.
Possibly the most promising death metal debut album of recent years for sure.
If this is the mark of Dominion, and the band gets the support & appreciation they deserve, then us as death metal fans in general are in for some promising times ahead.
Criminally underrated, I would recommend virtually anyone with an inkling towards brutal death metal (a la Hour Of Penance, Origin etc) or the more technical bands like Necrophagist & Spawn Of Possession should make the concerted effort to listen to this album, which encapsulates the first truly common ground between the aforementioned bands.