REVIEW: DRAGONLORD – “Dominion”
The master of the metal riff, Eric Peterson is back with his sinister alter-ego on Dragonlord’s new album ‘Dominion’. Joining Eric in Dragonlord on this journey beyond the gates of Hell is Lyle Livingston (Psypheria) on keyboards, Alex Bent (Trivium) on drums, and fantasy metal vocalist Leah. From the baleful opening instrumental “Entrance” to the final blasting beats of “Serpents Of Fire”, ‘Dominion’ revels in teeth-gnashing riffs that cast an aura of malevolent excitement.
The opening track “Entrance” and the title track “Dominion” set the stage for an album that summons the sensations of infernal villainy. It is difficult to find one element of the band’s performance that is responsible for creating this malefic aura. However, the keyboards and the choice of chord progressions combined with the backing choir craft a black spell. You can imagine Lon Chaney’s Phantom of the Opera in his lair, wildly playing the organ and lost in his obsession. You’ll find as you listen to the album that the orchestral keyboards of Lyle Livingston provide a cinematic feel to many of the songs on ‘Dominion’.
One aspect that makes ‘Dominion’ exceptional are the vocals. Eric Peterson’s vocals enhance the demonic and fantastical nature of the music. The malicious screams on “Omnious Premonition” and “Lamia” bring the vehemence of the music to bear. Eric changes up the vocal attack on “Northlander” which blends the death witch rasp with a berserker roar. The real change of pace is on “Love Of The Damned” which features a vocal duet of Eric and Leah. Eric has a great clean vocal style which reminds me of Chuck Billy from Testament. Leah’s vocals come in toward the end of the song, giving it a haunted beauty.
Finally, we need to touch on the brilliant drumming of Alex Bent. His blistering blasts and crushing trip-hammer kick drums intensifies the sonic force of the music. A great example of this is on “The Discord of Melor”. This Tolkien inspired epic is served well by the splendid drums which burn and pummel the listener in a metallic forge of hate.
The blackened majesty of Dragonlord returns with hellish fire on their new album ‘Dominion’. After 13 years, the black metal of Dragonlord provides a fresh kill of fantastical stories drenched in darkness and brutality. ‘Dominion’ delivers malicious spike-toothed guitars, demonic keyboards, an avalanche of vicious drums, and a terrifying vocal attack with nightmarish intensity.