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Dominion VIII

Sweden Country of Origin: Sweden

Dominion VIII
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: April 21st, 2008
Genre: Death
1. A World In Darkness
2. Fallen (Angel Son)
3. Deathstorm
4. Stained By Hate
5. Bloodpath
6. Annihilated Gods
7. Sinners Lust
8. Dark Signs
9. 8th Dominion

Review by Felix on November 8, 2022.

Grave, synonym for pure death metal, released “Dominion VIII”, their eighth album, in 2008. A clever strategy: if you do not have three sixes, take three eighths. But honestly speaking, this was the only “innovation” that the outputs revealed. “Dominion VIII” is predictable from beginning to the end, take it as a compliment or not.

The first thing that strikes the listener is the murderous tone of the extreme voluminous guitars. The opening power chord leaves no doubt that the band tries to impress the audience with sheer violence. And it goes without saying that this marks an important feature for real death metal. But it needs more to stand out in a positive way. Yes, there are the brutal, throaty vocals, there is a lot of velocity and there is no lack of technical precision. However, I miss truly thrilling compositions. The guitars seem to play the same lines they already did on the debut, only embedded in a more opulent yet brutal production. Yet even the debut had more catchy elements than this stubborn work without groovy rhythms or memorable choruses. Admittedly, the album is free from stinkers. No song falls through the net completely. But I don’t think that this is reason enough to release a full-length. Especially veterans should have a different claim on themselves.

The lack of diversity does not make it easier to identify highlights. All songs have the same basic aroma and unfortunately, it is free from any form of atmosphere. Of course, the deadly subgenre follows other rules than black metal. Anyhow, a certain quantum of atmosphere is always a good thing. Some morbid lines here, a perfidious solo there and so on. But we have to wait until the last piece before Grave treat us to something like that. The title track does not offer violence as an end it itself. It’s a beast that awakes slowly and grows more and more afterwards. Here Grave bundle the most effective guitar lines, the maximum of diversity and the biggest portion of catchiness (of course only related to this record). This epically overpowering song represents a reasonably conciliatory conclusion, but naturally it cnnot turn a mediocre album in an exciting one. Too little brilliance, too little tension and too few good ideas are offered by the monotonous songs before.

So back in 2008, Grave recorded an album that does not belong to the highlights of their catalogue. Guess it needs a lot of spins to come to the adventurous core of this material, if it has one at all! I am quietly doubtful, even if the word "quietly" should not be used in any other context with this album.

Rating: 5.8 out of 10