Released: 2008, Violent Journey Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
The ultimate torch bearers for the Finnish horror-infested heavy metal, Domination Black, have returned back to the limelight again with a brand-new, 5-song effort, titled HAUNTING. This 5-song EP is also the band´s debut release for their new independent Finnish record label, Violent Journey Records, which will hopefully, do a better job for Domination Black than what their previous label, Poison Arrow Records ever did.
HAUNTING is opened by a song called "The House of 1000 Eyes", which sounds very melodic, harmonious and sort of more ´radio friendly´ compared to all the previous stuff they have recorded for their last two albums. What actually makes the song even more special for the fans, it features Mr. Lordi´s vocals as a guest appearance. Getting him as a guest for one song on the EP, is a very good call from the D.B. camp indeed, I think.
"Shadow King" basically continues Domination Black´s theme on this more melodic side of metal. Calling "Shadow King" as some sort of a semi-ballad song wouldn´t be that far removed from the truth either. Mr. Killgast shows his true potential as a heavy metal vocalist who can color his voice with several nuances and make really the best out of his true strength as a very skilled vocalist - from some highly demanding singing parts to more mean types of stuff vocal-wise.
Horror-oozing "No More Again" is the band´s heaviest and most spooky sounding track on HAUNTING, with some King Diamond-ish elements sticking through here and there, but also continuing Domination Black´s, may I even say, a sort of ´tradition´ for extremely catchy and ear-nailing song arrangements that simply hit you like a boxer legend, Mike Tyson´s sharp and heavy left hook in his best days. I personally consider "No More Again" as one of the best D.B. tunes they have ever penned during their whole career. What a truly well-built up and excellent song all in all - and this particular song in question is actually something that I personally would love to expect to hear from them a lot of more style-wise. Yep, thanks in advance... ;o)
Then, this was about to happen as we should all remember that we talk about a band called Domination Black anyway that is full of devoted Kiss freaks. "A World without Heroes" - a Kiss cover song taken from a concept album MUSIC FROM "THE ELDER" album. I don´t recall how Kiss´ original version of that song sounds like, but still feel like giving some credit to the Domination Black camp for not choosing some of those most ´obvious´ Kiss tracks to be covered for this EP. Oh, and Mr. Killgast is a king vocally - let this be stated now loud and clear. The man has got an awesome range of different vocal styles - a strong Halford-ish vibe being one of his strongest assets as we know that already by now.
"Evil Has Found a Home" closes the EP tastefully, and to be an actual song, this song reminds me of some kind of prelude to some other song more than anything else. In fact, if they had replaced this song with a similar type of song as "No More Again" - with a more aggressive and heavier song by nature, then the whole EP would have worked out even better, I suppose. Now when there´s only one song on the EP ("No More Again" that is), churned out with heavier hands, it leaves something for all of us to be hoped for from the next Domination Black album. However, don´t read me wrong because HAUNTING is still a tour de force from these all black-dressing up guys, but since all of us already happen to know they can sound more mean and vicious just like both of their previous albums have already so clearly proved earlier. Given time, I honestly gotta believe they´ll return back to those tracks with their forthcoming stuff we all know them musically from. As the old and worn-out cliche goes, time will naturally tell of course...