Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Domain - ...From Oblivion...

DOMAIN - ...From Oblivion... (APOCALYPSE Production - CD 1999)
Let’s start with the obvious… “…From Oblivion…” is really good album. It offers plenty of variety within the style, which Domain has developed through several years of playing under Pandemonium and Domain. I actually have never had a chance to listen to Domain’s first album, “Pandemonium” (the story says that originally the band was about to unleash it still under the name Pandemonium and the title of the album was supposed to be “Domain”, but because of the legal actions of ex-drummer Żuber, they took the name Domain instead and titled the album “Pandemonium”, to link both bands together). I don’t know whether this album was any good, or not, but having in mind how awesome and inspiring Pandemonium’s “Devilri” demo and “The Ancient Catatonia” CD were, then I can say that “…From Oblivion…” is a rightful continuation of those two materials, although Domain has developed their style adding few extras to make it even darker and more engaging.
The first song, “Whispered in the Dark”, is just pure essence of Pandemonium’s style. Slow, dark, almost hypnotising riffing, great atmosphere and vocals… Really, this is killer opening track, one of my favourites on the whole CD. It of course links Domain to the Pandemonium, it has some obvious similarities to Samael, but also – and that surprises me a little – to Christ Agony, which is really cool of course. This track surprised also with one, quite ethnically sounding motif, with sort of acoustic guitars and specific, tribal drumming… If you ask me, I must admit it may sound slightly controversial, but the final effect is really interesting. “…From Oblivion…” brings also few other such Mid-Eastern fragments, especially in the instrumental passages between the songs like in “The Maklu Spell” (this one is almost like a ritualistic soundtrack) and “Asymetrical Megalith”, which has a riffing very much in the vein of Samael’s “Blood Ritual” (AWESOME!), but they’re accompanied by those specific drumming parts, as well as keyboards, which increase the dark atmosphere to the maximum. There’s also fully acoustic “The Enter”, which unveils the oriental influence in the whole glory.
Don’t worry though if you think that “…From Oblivion…” is too oriental or tribal for your taste, as those influences are just an addition to few fragments, most of the album is played in the classic style of the band. Also the second track, “Supernatural” will delight you with yet again slightly Christ Agony like playing, really good song, if you ask me. “Sunless Domain” is one of the doomiest and heaviest tracks on “…From Oblivion…”, at least in its opening riff, because there’s also one riff, which you could compare to Melechesh, if it wasn’t for the fact that Domain has composed it few years prior to “Djinn” (which was released in 2001, while “…From Oblivion…” is from 1999 and what’s more, this song is from Pandemonium’s “Devilri” demo, from 1992!!!!). Anyway, “Sunless Domain” belongs to my favourite songs from the album, just as much as “Fall Into Decay”, another mostly slow song, but one which speeds up a bit in the middle part! Don’t think though that the whole album is spotless, as there are also tracks, which I think are slightly more mediocre, like “Deathmaker”. It’s still a good song, but just not as good as the previous one (although in “Deathmaker” I love the sound of keyboards in one fragment, they’re really epic!). I’m also not so fond of “Naer Mattaru”, a song, which finishes the first part of “…From Oblivion…” and which incorporates some other influences into Domain’s style, which this time are more industrial and electronic sounds over the slightly repetitive riffing, what sounds almost like Samael’s “Passage” (sorry, but the shadow of the once-great Swiss band will always be floating over Pandemonium / Domain), but I don’t like the result of it so much. Anyway, this track unveils a little what was about to wait for all fans of the band – “The Zonei” album, which Pandemonium released in 2004 and which was filled with such kind of playing.
For the end, “…From Oblivion…” offers us another re-recording of an oldie, “Devilri”, originally from the first Pandemonium demo (killer song, here played in excellent way, slightly re-arranged, with some keyboards added, etc, but the final effect is really good, in my opinion) plus two live recordings (Pandemonium’s “Unholy Existence” and “Ritual Combat”) and a remix of “Whispered in the Dark” (which I really don’t like at all and is totally unnecessary!!!!). In total there’re 53 minutes of music on “…From Oblivion…” and I can assure you that it won’t be a wasted time, if you decide to spend it with Domain! Of course you may have problems with getting either a tape of CD version of “…From Oblivion…” nowadays, as the album is unavailable for a long time and the label, which released it – Apocalypse Production (which belonged to Hate’s and Domain’s drummer, Mitloff) – is inactive for few years now. But if you ever get a chance to purchase a copy, do it without thinking twice, as “…From Oblivion…” is great, classic album. It continues what Pandemonium has been doing few years prior to it and definitely is a step forward, when comparing it to “The Ancient Catatonia”. Of course it’s just a matter of taste, whether you prefer more raw and cruel beginnings of Pandemonium or what Domain has done here on “…From Oblivion…”, where you need to be more open minded a bit. I have difficulties in picking up my preferable recording, so it may be wiser to call it even and say they’re just equally good.
Standout tracks: “Whispered in the Dark”, “Sunless Domain”, “Fall Into Decay”, “Devilri”
Final rate: 85/100

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