Released: 2014, The Sinister Flame
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
The first full-length album by Valencian trio is a result of 9 years spent in rehearsals. The well considered studio sound among other elements on this record leaves little to no doubt about these people adhering to principles of perfectionism. The prevalent 'Hall' effect is so appropriate, it instantly conjures the atmosphere of a midnight ceremony in a secret labyrinth below the
ground where Luciferian adepts have gathered to celebrate light and worship figurative Death.
In terms of music "Sinister Ceremonies" belong to the same circle of Hell where you'd find Belphegor and Dark Funeral as demonstrated by the opening track "Domains" - a blizzard of blast beats and Black Metal chords. Yet, this initial assault demonstrates only a small portion of what to expect from this band. Influenced by Mayhem among others, Domains execute guitar riffs that make their sound quite Northern like. In fact, due to the vocals as well as the sound production, and the overall atmosphere, it is easy to imagine how music wise this could be an album by a side project of some of the Mayhem and Unleashed members.
One of the album's highlights is definitely the second track "Mastery". The main guitar riff here along with drums is an immediate win as it is a proper Old School Thrash/Death Metal gem. Even though this is still a Black Death Metal song, the mastery of melody on this track shows the true potential of this band, especially the lead guitar parts with a touch of the classical music to them. The talent with which Domains handle the melodic aspect of their music is especially notable during the slower tempo episodes on almost all of the songs on this album.
Besides the successful sound production the ability to sustain the atmosphere throughout this record is also demonstrated with inclusion of two instrumental tracks: "Hopeless" and "Labyrinth of Incense", the latter of which is a composition that seems to consist of two separate parts. The lead guitar and screams on the second part would have made a nice outro which is what makes me wonder why this track hasn't been made the last one on the album.
Review by Peer Ynt