The New Dominion
Procreating the Undivine

Hailing from the Netherlands, The New Dominion is a exciting and talented multifaceted act that features drummer Yuma Van Eekelen, who drummed on Pestilence‘s 2011 effort, Doctrine. And while that once great band’s lackluster return and that particular album might not lure you into listening to this loosely affiliated band, be aware that The New Dominion is a very bright newcomer in Dutch metal and a band to keep an eye on.

Though covering the bases of modern, thrash, death and tech metal, The New Dominion is not as chaotic as the recent Hybrid release when it comes to genre melding, being a much more extreme thrash record with death metal moments, of the melodic, brutal and tech variety. Bands I think have a similar ambitious sound are the likes of Synapses, Disillusion, Machine Head, Alterself, Stalwart, Devolved, and to some extent, Arsis.

Powered by Van Eekelen’s sturdy drumming, the album is an impressive array of musicianship and songwriting that delivers a variety of styles very well. Vocalist Bart Schoorl has a varied approach also, ranging from an impressive deep death metal growl to a higher register screams (which do grate after extended use), a few whispers and spoken words, and an acceptable, sparse distant clean croon. The production is modern and beefy with a nice throbbing bass and the guitars are up front and crunchy.

Chunky opener “Saliva” starts things off, and the the album takes off and never looks back for the rest of the ten-track duration. While many of the songs (with the exception of Opeth-like acoustic interlude “Matriarch Asphyxia”) lurch and stagger with busy, angular gusto, it’s never quite djent, instead being a more tech thrash delivery with some blast beats and nicely-placed, restrained, melodic sections here and there (“Slaves Ablaze”). But the extreme death/thrash element keeps the whole thing respectable and away from any sort of Sumerian band references – Van Eekelen has been around Pestilence and his other brutal death metal band, Brutus and it has rubbed off (in a good way), as The New Dominion could have easily swayed into a much more core/djent-based realm.

The whole album is full of slick, thrashing, chunky riffs and solos, particularity the aforementioned “Saliva”, Ommitidea”, “Down to the Osiris Flood” and the blast-beat-filled “Deceased Empires of Flesh”. It’s not overly busy, but certainly complex and intricate with a dash of brutality and even some harmony here and there that make it a complete, memorable, enjoyable package rather than just skill and musicianship.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
July 24th, 2013

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