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A hollowness worth digging into - 96%

slayrrr666, June 6th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Lavadome Productions

Undoubtedly at the top of their game, Czech death metallers Destroying Divinity has cemented their stance at the top of the revivalist death metal movement years ago, and have now slain all in their wake with yet another demolishing effort. With only a four-year gap between releases to keep the creativity flowing, this crushing and devastating fourth full-length effort was released September 30, 2014 on Lavadome Productions.

Following up their devastating last release, this one manages to carry on a lot of the same formulas that made that release so special and devastating by featuring the kind of technically challenging and complex riff-work within a framework that adds a degree of atmospherics into the proceedings. There’s plenty of ravenous thrashing mixed with technically-charged rhythms that all compliment the type of fiery patterns favored by the group, where it features a wide assortment of riffing to feature that amount of ferocious work here. While this here manages to give this a quite dominant display, there’s also hints of melody featured that carries a rather impressive buffer between these charging rhythms as the band’s ability to charge forward at blistering fashions yet also manage to accompany a slight deviation or variance that actually works quite nicely in support of the more dominant challenging riff-work and blasting drum-work. That carries itself across the album to such an extent that its dynamics allow it to feature enough here which combines that amount of old-school flavor with a more modernized approach to really gel so well here that its appeal is spread out even further by being able to allow for all these different elements into an equally coherent and devastating whole. While it might be a little same-sounding as it goes along, there’s little about this one to dislike.

There’s so much to really get behind with this one that it really furthers and cements their status at the top of the pyramid here when it comes to the revivalist death metal scene that the few minute flaws are so unimportant in the grand scheme of things that this deserves as much appeal as possible with all many of death metal fans required to check this one out.

Hollow Dominion - 80%

dismember_marcin, April 2nd, 2015

Here’s another new release from Lavadome Productions and another brutal death metal force from the Czech Republic! This one is called Destroying Divinity and certainly they’re a band which fit Heaving Earth perfectly. I mean both bands play similar type of death metal, both are Czech and both present similar high quality and impressive, pure musical slaughter on their albums. But I must say that this is the first time I heard about Destroying Divinity. And it is surprising, as it turns out that “Hollow Dominion” is already their fourth (!) full length album, the previous one was titled “Dark Future” and was released on different label in 2010. The band is rather slow working, as first two CDs were released in 2002 and 2004, then they had a long break of six years and now another four years later Destroying Divinity releases “Hollow Dominion”. But I suppose it’s the matter of quality over quantity. And quality death metal is what you’ll hear on the new album… and personally I will surely try to find all previous albums as well, as I am very curious about them; and besides, I like to collect all albums from bands I like.

Anyway, let’s talk about “Hollow Dominion”. I mentioned that Destroying Divinity fits well to alongside Heaving Earth… surely both bands take a lot of influence from the US death metal scene, and such bands as Hate Eternal, Vital Remains, Morbid Angel, Immolation and Cannibal Corpse. I would also mention some European brutal acts, such as Sinister (definitely!), Severe Torture, some Polish acts like Lost Soul, (early) Decapitated or Trauma… It’s brutal, quite technical, dense and powerful death metal, maybe not overwhelmingly original or sophisticated, but damn, Destroying Divinity do know how to compose quality music. I mean, there are so many truly fantastic riffs, and the songs are really well built and arranged. Some slower parts are especially impressive in my opinion, as they almost have a slightly melodic and dark feeling, which maybe sounds similar to some early Immolation LPs, but the result is truly great. Obviously “Hollow Dominion” also has quite few neckbreaking, crushing and fast fragments, but I am actually glad that Destroying Divinity often tried to vary their music, flawlessly switching the paces and intensity of the riffs / drumming. There’re many textures I think, many really impressive fragments and great ideas, you simply must listen to the album carefully to pick them up from the annihilating wall of death metal slaughter.

One of the finest demonstrations of brutality is definitely the opening track “The Eternity Guardians”, which is just pure violence, fast and massive, but with an amazing slower piece near the end. It smoothly passes into “Burning Divine Domination”, which probably is my favourite song here, as I like the most when Destroying Divinity plays slower pieces; this one sounds like a killer mixture of Immolation and Morbid Angel and damn, what a bloody fantastic track! Also, “The Suffering Redemption” and “Inner Slavery” really stick in my memory, with some seriously amazing riffs. But really, the whole of “Hollow Dominion” is a great mixture of fast and mid paced death metal; very well balanced, dynamic, powerful and deadly effective. Yes, it’s nothing superbly original, just traditional brutal death metal, classic to the core… but do we require anything else from bands like this? No, as long as it’s superbly played, arranged and composed… “Hollow Dominion” delivers all that.

Standout tracks: “Burning Divine Domination”, “Empire of Emptiness”, “The Suffering Redemption”, “Sinful Omens”
Final rate: 80/100