|Review: Domain - The Chronicles of Love, Hate and Sorrow|
|The Chronicles of Love, Hate and Sorrow|
Label: Limb Music Products
Year released: 2009
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: May 11, 2009
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
for:The Chronicles of Love, Hate and Sorrow
Rated 4/5 (80%) (5 Votes)
Having previously not heard these guys, Domain were always on my "To Check Out" list. Fortunately for me I was approached by their guitar player and ring-leader Axel "Ironfinger" Ritt, a smashing chap who offered me the special edition of their latest release; The Chronicles of Love, Hate and Sorrow. After quickly checking out some sound clips and a track from said release I was immediately interested, and without hesitation I bought the album and furiously anticipated the day it would arrive. Luckily the wait wasn't a long one and soon enough a special package from Germany arrived. Like a child on Christmas Day I tore apart the package, launched the disc into my player (prior to noticing it had been signed by the band – result!) and pressed play. Within a minute a smile was painted from ear to ear; this is some choice stuff. Same ballpark to acts such as Silent Force or Royal Hunt, Domain plays a speedy Power Metal with plenty of Symphonic and Hard Rock influence. Hell I can even hear a little of Vanden Plas in them – always a good thing.
Clearly these guys are very experienced and certainly know what they're doing; I guess a little something that comes from 20+ years in the business. Most noteworthy to me was the fret-board acrobatics of the aforementioned axe slinger Axel Ritt, blowing me away with his potent shredding and molten riffage – the guitar tone used is damn raunchy giving the whole album a load of oomph. Of course each and every member perform damn well; the furious drum work of ex-Symphorce man Stefan Köllner is almost inhuman at times, the production gives his kit a wicked sound giving that tight, clicky double bass sound I'm so fond of. Erdmann "Erdi" Lange handles the keyboard deftly reminiscent at times of Royal Hunt's André Andersen, although I would have preferred to see him take the foreground a little more. Steven Wussow's dazzling bass work is audible throughout, a testament to the first class production courtesy of Axel Ritt. Now where is any band without a good singer? Fear not because Nicolaj Ruhnow is a top class singer, reminding a fair bit of D.C. Cooper. The vocals are very well done, from massive choirs to soaring delivery seen in tracks such as "Haunting Sorrow".
Based on the legendary book; "The Sorrows of Young Werther" by J.W. von Goethe (reading up on this, the book has quite a history – interesting stuff). However this is not a concept album per se as each and every track can stand up on its own, each being highly enjoyable. In the booklet for the special edition of the album there is a page that details the themes to each song, a nice touch and something I enjoy seeing in album booklets. With not a bad track on offer, we have cuts such as the glorious album opener "Picture the Beauty" which takes names and kicks ass (although the chorus sounds quite like that of Edguy's "Tears of a Mandrake"). There are brave tracks such as "The Last Dance" which features a sublime intro piece and awesome symphonic elements, a stand out factor for me is the awesome vocal arrangements which are both hooky and catchy. "Angel Above" clearly harks back to their 80's Hard Rock stylings, although kept in check with a sharp metal edge. Personal favorites range from the speedy "Digging Their Graves" to the superb battery of "Sweeping Scars" featuring some naughty riffing.
Overall a brilliant release and I'm certainly glad I checked this out. Domain are a cool band that play really enjoyable Power Metal with awesome Hard Rock and symphonic elements. Plenty of catchy choruses are to be had, so play this one loud and sing it out proud. Fortunately these guys have a lengthy back catalogue to check out, and if The Chronicles of Love, Hate and Sorrow is anything to go by there should certainly be diamonds to be uncovered. A superb release that certainly gets my nod of approval.
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