The new Dragonlord album ‘Dominion’ arrives on September 21st. Master of the metal riff, Eric Peterson and founder of Dragonlord and Testament, took a few minutes while on tour with Slayer to talk with us about the new Dragonlord album.
Given that it has been 13 years since the last Dragonlord album ‘Black Wings of Destiny’, we wanted to know what took him so long. Eric replies with a laugh “13 years! What!”. “It wasn’t until 2010 that me and Lyle (Livingston – keyboards) started working on some new stuff. Getting through whatever crap we went through with the other lineup. Which is kinda funny, but we won’t get into that (laughs). Anyway, we started working on stuff. There were a lot of little hurdles along the way. This record took 4 or 5 years to get done. It was like a little here, a little here, a little here, in between my schedule. But, it made for a good record.”
Dragonlord ‘Dominion’ is packed with blazing black symphonic metal tunes. One song that stands out is “The Discord of Melkor”. Eric gave us some background explaining “It’s really got that vibe of a lore, folklore song” adding “I’m glad I waited and didn’t settle. That story (from Tolkien’s Silmarillion ) finally made its way into a song. It totally works for that one.”
Another outstanding song is “Love of the Damned” where you really get to appreciate the contributions of Leah McHenry. Eric recounted “That’s cool too because of the whole take on Dante’s inferno about Beatrice. In the story, she gets uplifted; her soul from the underworld through the resolving of Dante’s confession. In my story, she falls in love with the prince of darkness. You should check out Dante’s Inferno the animation.”
When we commented about Leah McHenry’s involvement in the project, Eric indicated that “She came in to do a couple songs. After she had done the intro which is “Entrance”, she was going to do “Dominion”. After she was done she was like “Cool, thanks for having me”. I’m like wait a minute, you gotta do the whole record now. And she like “I knew you were going to say that ahhhhahhahh!”. So she booked some extra time and we kinda wore her out I think, but I’m glad she stayed and did that.”
Eric Peterson has a signature guitar style which forms the foundation of both Testament and Dragonlord music. I mentioned that when I listen to Dragonlord’s ‘Dominion’, I could hear riffs that could easily have translated into a Testament song. We asked Eric if he has to consciously try to play differently for Dragonlord as opposed to Testament. Eric responded “Well, it’s me. I don’t have to pick and choose. Because when I’m writing with Dragonlord a lot of it comes from Lyle and I’m bouncing off of him or vice versa. So I can’t go, well I’m going to use that now for Testament, because it was born under the banner of Dragonlord.”
The vocals on ‘Dominion’ seem even more evil and sinister than the last album. We asked Eric if he made a conscious change his vocal delivery. Eric explained “I think it’s just more confidence and approaching it; thinking different. I’m not a singer. To me it’s more like acting.”
Finally, we asked Eric if Testament is working on new music. He said “Yeah. Well, I am working on some new riffs right now and kind of librarying stuff. We are going to be taking off the rest of the year after this tour (with Slayer). We have a couple special shows, but mostly just working on new stuff. We’ll be planning on having something out for 19.”