DominanzRevolving around the talents of Roy Mathisen (ex-Taake) on vocals, bass, guitars and synth the act is rounded off with Jørn Tunsberg (Hades Almighty, ex-Immortal, ex-Old Funeral) on guitar and Frode Gaustad on drums this darkly industrial act with hugely infective gothic overtones has released a second album that follows the debut released some three years ago. Included here are guest appearances by Abbath (Immortal), Olav Iversen (Sahg) and Doro Korsvold (Fairy) to bolster the music into a textured sonic experience that begins with “Embraced By Malice” and a melancholic choral back vocal line with acoustic guitar that is thumped aside for a mechanistic riff and tempo hinting at the industrial angle this seems to be being aimed at, but it offers a much richer and more opulent stance than a purely cold industrial one, with varying vocal styles from blackened snarls to deftly delivered spoken and clean vocal components, to the throaty barks of bands like Satyricon. The pace of the opener is down beat, a sadness pervading the tune as the double kicks add immeasurable weight to this song and overall on the album.

“Discipline” is much more upbeat, catchy within the confines of the song writing in this style whereas “Dream Of Fire” is darkly gothic and reminds of mid era Tiamat but with a quicker tempo. “Salvation” has guest vocals by Doro Korsvold, as the tune is significantly more upbeat, very catchy and accessible the tune reminds me of The Kovenant’s material. It is also easy to identify with latter day Immortal material with that slower more epic style that band adopted making subtle appearances on tunes like “Devoured By The Black Hole” and of course there is a symphonic aspect to the tunes as well with choral vocals and synth arrangements adding depth and clarity. Industrialised and mechanised “Servile Lackeys” has a Rammstein militaristic beat, a fist pumping salvo atypical of the rest of the release but that isn’t to say that the bands song writing style has taken a nose dive into new territory, far from it, the song is another twist in the brazen schizoid resourcefulness of the band.

Penultimate tune “You Shall Serve” had my mind thinking about the slower aspects of Behemoth, the song deliberately slow but enveloped in dark despairing heaviness and sprinkled with choral vocals and a rather despondent lead guitar piece similar to Rotting Christ. Closing the album is the title track where Abbath guests on vocals, a longer more epic composition the tune begins with a sparse guitar riff and backing noise elements that fade in gradually and a very slow pace not far off the epic times of Immortal if truth be had. The spoken vocals are theatrical, well placed and poise the song well before a brief acoustic section and a symphonic sadness permeates the song. As the song lulls into an epic backdrop of synths and choral vocals the pace picks up abruptly as what seems like Abbath appears on vocals with his croaky demonic tone. As fitting a closer to an album as it gets, the title track epitomises the various guises, shades and textures Dominanz adopt in their song writing as a spotless lead break filters through unashamedly and with considerable maturity much like this whole release pivots itself around.

(7.5/10 Martin Harris)