A little bit of history: in 2001 Eric Petersond with Steve Di Giorgio from Testament and Steve Smyth from Nevermore creates a project named Dragonlord, where Symphonic Black and Thrash Metal are combined. Same year the debut album Rapture was released and four years later comes Black Wings Of Destiny. The work on the third album started in 2009, but a year later Eric says that he doubt about band’s future. Nevertheless in 2012 the bad signs a deal with Spinefarm/Universal Records and the long six years process of work on Dominion have started. The reason is a tight Testament’s schedule and line-up changes. Today Dragonlord is:
Eric Peterson (Testament) – vocals, guitars, bass
Lyle Livingston – keyboards
Alex Bent (Trivium) – drums
Leah – female vocals, choirs
But let’s get back to the album: Dominion mostly contains the same things as 13 years ago: Black Metal, Thrash and many keys that turn music to Symphonic Black. This fact, according to some critics and metalheads gives a legitimation to call Dragonlord “a Dimmu Borgir‘s clone”, whilst this statement is extremely controversial. Also there are some choirs and female vocals can be heard in an album; Leah has very pleasant and tender voice.
There are some outstanding tracks in an album against the others. If “Dominion” and “The Discord Of Melhor” are going more to Sympho Black and “Northlanders” is thrashy, then rhythmical, melodic “Lamia” goes more to Nightwish; clean vocals fit this song better than screaming and growl. “Love Of The Damned” sounds like some curtsy to the Therion‘s side: clean guitars, harshy but clean male vocal with tender female and mighty Symphonic parties.
There are also no claims to a technical side: Eric Peterson and Lyle Livingston are experienced professional musicians and they know they job very well. Alex Bent’a drumming in Dominion should be highlighted separately: his energetic delivery with endless blast beats and double pedals differs from drumming in his main band a lot.
Nonetheless, despite all aforementioned, Dominion isn’t impressive at all. Or rather if we’ll take each element separately, it’s interesting, sometimes remarkable, but combined together it somehow doesn’t work. With this album Eric Peterson tried to create a dark world with some interesting ideas, but it rather looks like comic book where pictures don’t fit to a plot, although both of them created greatly. Though, I would like to remind that it’s only my opinion.
Dominion released on September, 21 via Spinefarm Records.