Released: 2005, Poison Arrow Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Finland seems to be quite hell of a country nowadays when the country´s countless amount of different Metal bands are concerned both genre,- talent – and quality-wise. Domination Black, hailing from a small town called Karhula, located in the South Coast of Finland (or nearby that location, now excuse my bad knowledge in geography. I know, it SUCKS!), is easily one of those better up-coming Metal bands that has basically made themselves known as a band that has a vocalist in the line-up who reminds people of both Tim “Ripper” Owens and Rob “The Metal God” Halford in a somewhat peculiar way. Well, both comparisons are fair, namely Mr. “The Sentinel (a great nickname he has, he!)” Riikonen has a truly impressive voice that brings those two gentlemen in the very question to mind more often than just occasionally only.
As for the 4 tracks on the demo, this is actually that very demo that got Domination Black signed to the Finnish Poison Arrow Records and I gotta say that it´s even easy to me to realize and understand why they got signed so fast in the first place within such a short time. “The Sentinel” Riikonen has obviously a big role in it, of course - but without at least a decent, skillful enough to write songs, band members around you, you are destined to go nowhere. However, in Domination Black´s case, luckily the whole band rocks harder than your poor disloyal wife getting caught straight from your bedroom with a stranger in your first wedding anniversary.
The guys in Domination Black have found a very nice and catchy recipe to combine pure ´80s –flavored Heavy Metal with hints from the Thrash Metal territory and they have done it with a good taste and style. The ghost of the mighty Priest is of course constantly present in their songs, but I don´t consider it as a bad thing by any means. I would also say that King Diamond has played a rather important role for them musically as well. Need a proof? You get one then; Simply go and sharp-tune your cultivated Heavy Metal ears for “Haunted Hellhouse” and you´ll clearly see and understand this connection for that particular direction. Talk about some ultimate gloominess in this song... – just like in “Crystal Lake” which reaches its pretty damn epic moments right from the beginning until bursting into sort of anti-climax in the end by courtesy of “The Sentinel” Riikonen´s truly intense and mind-sticking vocal performance.
Up next on the demo is “Poison Tears” which is sort of an epic-like yet very powerful ballad song – and also my personal favorite song from these fine and talented Finns. What a fucking awesome song “Poison Tears” truly is! If they were gals instead of guys, I would go and hug and kiss them for creating this majestic piece of work without any hesitations, that´s for certain. Hopefully they will take this song in for their forth-coming debut album FEARBRINGER, too – due out later this year.
The closer tune on the FEAR RE-LOA-DEAD demo isn´t bad either; a pretty straight-forward song with enough interest to keep your undivided attention up. “The Sentinel” Riikonen (un-)fortunately steals the main attention in this track with his absolutely wonderful and varied vocalism in this song even if the guitar duo Wiren & Heiscanen prove to be quite wizards with their 6-stringers, too.
It´s been carved into stone already that Domination Black will be huge name amongst the metalheads some day. Just wait ´til you will hear FEARBRINGER... ;=)