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Domination Through Impurity > Masochist > Reviews > boboy
Domination Through Impurity - Masochist

Firm, Reliable and Competent; No More, No Less - 65%

boboy, September 2nd, 2013

Despite what the lazy, Microsoft Wordart plus cheap CGI presentation of this release may suggest, Domination Through Impurity are in fact not a group of high school musicians playing Pantera covers in the grotty back room of the local youth centre. No, in fact Domination Through Impurity (henceforth DTI) are the brainchild of jack-of-all-bands bass player Joe Payne, known for his sellsword antics with the likes of Nile, Divine Heresy and Psycroptic among others, and more recently his penchant for casual drug dealing.

DTI sees Joe Payne taking up all roles in the band aside from percussion, which is handled by ex Lividity sticksman Jordan Varela. The results are interesting, and certainly offer more than a nod to the high quality artists that Payne has surrounded himself with over the years. However, while DTI string some solid slabs of technical death metal together on this release, I feel that the saturation of the genre of choice, and the band's failure to be overly distinctive within its demesne limits this release to somewhere in the second tier.

The release is devout in its speed and technicality, and is refreshing in its non-surgical production of this sound. The drums sound fresh and loose, and the vocals remain audibly angry and clear. However the guitars simply sound flat and inoffensive, and this shortcoming robs the release of its bludgeoning heaviness. Furthermore, with so many of the riffs being based upon technically embellished grooves, there is no latent intensity brought forth from the speed department to render this oversight permissible. Too often a riff that could be a real face fister is rendered sounding limp by this guitar production.

However, it is not all doom and gloom; far from it. Once the release gets into its stride, there are some powerful highlights. For a gentleman known primarily for his bass playing, Mr Payne certainly knows his way around the six string neck. There are riffs on this release which will have you wrapping your own limbs in knots just trying to figure out what the hell is going on, particularly in the opener “Interminable Descent”. In general, this style of riffing is not for me - few releases bore me as much as those from the hyper-widdly end of the death metal spectrum- however, DTI pull this off quite well, and grow their songs around the technicality with convincing purpose.

The drumming is neither flashy, nor mechanically produced, allowing the sheer acrobatics of the guitar to stand at the uncontested forefront of the entire affair. This perhaps aids the band's cause, as the technicality must dance around the menacing grooves of the rhythm section, rather than dragging the drums along with it at super-mega-gravity speed.

Beyond the core of the instrumentation, I have to say that the pseudo angry, expletive laced lyrics don't impress anybody, especially on the slightly cringeworthy “Less Than Human”. In contrast, the centrepiece track “Path to Righteousness” contains some vicious introductory choral chants, which render all the faux anger on the remainder of the release completely null; it really is a shame that they are not used elsewhere on the disc.

The halfway house track “The Cruel Hand of Fate” is perhaps one of the better metal instrumental tracks I have heard in recent times. However it's soothing fingerstyle guitars and wailing lead guitar textures stick out like a swollen, oozing sore thumb on this release of angsty, groove infused tech-death. If some of these interesting ideas were somehow woven into the fabric of the band's sound, especially the fantastically atmospheric e-bowed guitar haze, then I could be more forgiving, but as it stands the inclusion of this instrumental is jarring at best when listening the disc through.

And that is really all there is to say regarding this release. “Bleeding the Damned” incorporates some slightly more bouncy one footed blasting, but overall there is little more variety to be gleaned here, as is par for the course when dealing with this kind of death metal. A solid, competent and moderately enjoyable piece of technical death metal; a comfortable seat is reserved for you in the second tier.

This may not seem all too bad on paper, but in the current climate of death metal, there are simply too many dogs barking up the technical death metal tree, and unfortunately for DTI, many of them are barking much more convincingly.