Review by Jack on December 31, 2001.
Right from the start I would like to begin by saying that there is not one stinker amongst the 8 songs that exist on Hollenthon’s debut album in “Domus Mundi”. All tracks stand well enough on their own two feet and each are different enough to prompt single value if there were such a proper market for heavy metal singles.
Hollenthon hail from Austria and deal with metal that breaches a strange and alternate cross between death metal and samples taken from many different areas of the world music spectrum. Some of the samples encountered are what I swear is from the main title track of ‘Braveheart’ (bagpipes, drums etc, etc.) on the track ‘Interlude’. Gregorian chants erupt in the track ‘Premonition’ which really adds to the diversity that Hollenthon obviously possess. This sort of originality is bound to attract good and bad criticism, and I myself cannot sing the praises of Hollenthon enough. When speaking of originality; one only has to browse through the booklet and see the sort of topics that one would find in an ancient monastery during the 15th century. My head fills with images of foul necromancy and famous deeds precluding to the Industrial Revolution some years later.
Vocals from Martin Schirenc range from clean vocals that one may find in your average mainstream pop track to the normal black metal rasp. While he may not win too many awards for outstanding originality and innovation, the vocals do certainly suit the brand of music they play and that is usually all I ask for.
I really do find it hard to believe that some bands in 2001/2002 have not tried to jump on to the band wagon and joined in this sample genious that Hollenthon have started. I mean we had the abundance of black metal clean vocalists in 1997-2001; it really does elude me as to why there has not been other bands trying to milk a dollar from this formula in metal. Perhaps it is that Hollenthon have perfected this art of ‘sample metal’ and others are either in awe of “Domus Mundi” and to scared to compete or it just does not strike them as easy enough to take on. Whatever the case may be, “Domus Mundi” is a superb album and would should stray near the record store in effort to grab a copy.
Bottom Line: Hollenthon sprang from the reaches of nowhere and have delivered the metal world an outstanding a thought provoking release with innovative lyrics and original metal. They should be commended on such a groundbreaking album.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 9.1 out of 10