MORBID ANGEL — Domination

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MORBID ANGEL - Domination cover
4.34 | 32 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1995

Filed under Death Metal
By MORBID ANGEL

Tracklist

1. Dominate (2:40)
2. Where the Slime Live (5:26)
3. Eyes to See, Ears to Hear (3:52)
4. Melting (1:20)
5. Nothing but Fear (4:32)
6. Dawn of the Angry (4:39)
7. This Means War (3:11)
8. Caesar's Palace (6:20)
9. Dreaming (2:17)
10. Inquisition (Burn With Me) (4:33)
11. Hatework (5:48)

Total Time: 44:42

Line-up/Musicians

- David Vincent / bass, vocals
- Trey Azagthoth / guitars, keyboards
- Erik Rutan / guitars, keyboards
- Pete Sandoval / drums

About this release

Earache Records, May 9th, 1995

Produced by Morbid Angel & Bill Kennedy.
Recorded & Mixed at Morrisound Studios Nov.'94 - Jan.'95.
Mastered at A&M Studios.

A video was made for "Where the Slime Live".

Japanese version includes 2 bonus tracks
- 12. Sworn to the Black (Laibach Remix)
- 13. God of Emptiness (Laibach Remix)

Thanks to Stooge, UMUR, Unitron for the updates

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MORBID ANGEL DOMINATION reviews

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siLLy puPPy
One of the most beautiful things about MORBID ANGEL is that they never stagnated in their sound despite pioneering the world of death metal and taking that final step out of the thrash world which landed them the honor of being one of the most influential death metal bands to the plaudits of the critics. Although they took the early Slayer thing and put it through the brutality blender before they emerged with their groundbreaking “Altars Of Madness,” where they churned out sonic assaults about Satanism and occult themes, they quickly became more sophisticated in not only their compositions but in their subject matter. Beginning with “Blessed Are The Sick” they evolved their lyrical content in the realms of Sumerian gods while their technical chops became ever more tight and polished without losing one little bit of the fire and fury that made them one of the most successful extreme metal bands of all the early 90s.

After cranking out three beautiful beasts of unrelenting brutality, they took a rather left field turn and began to experiment with their sound. The result was their fourth studio album DOMINATION which not only expanded their sonic palette manyfold but also saw the debut of Erik Rutan as the second guitarist / keyboardist thus making the band a quartet instead of a mere trio. This would also be David Vincent’s last album for quite some time before he would rejoin in 2004. This album is quite distinct visually speaking as it is rare to find a death metal album cover graced in green and purple. The earliest CDs came in green jewelcases and there were plans to release a “Slime Pack” but was scrapped because of the toxic slime leaking from the albums before they were ever got shipped!

DOMINATION is quite the interesting listen and shows MORBID ANGEL diversifying its sound in many different ways. The first three tracks showcase the classic death metal sound but also add a new sludgy element to the mix with slower guitar riff tempos and even less frenetic drum parts. In the composition department the guitars are more atonal, there are multiple tempo changes and break downs and there is much more emphasis on creating a dark and gloomy atmosphere instead of focusing exclusively on brutality. Of course those squealing guitar solos still emerge from nowhere and the brutal riffs are still on board but something noticeably shifted on DOMINATION. “Melting” displayed a completely new side of the band with a theatrical soundtrack like a war march through some sort of ancient siege and as far as i know is the first of its kind in the death metal world. This sort of interlude music was adopted by bands like Nile who made it a staple of Sumerian and Ancient Egyptian folklore sounds but also has been adopted by other tech death bands like Gorguts.

The influences that led to an entire career that Nile (and even for others such as Gojira) are pretty much adopted from this album and are rather apparent on tracks like “Nothing But Fear” which have complex riffing, several time signature changes and differentiations in tempo and dynamics including passages where the drumming is on blastbeat mode while the atmospheric chord changes contrast with the brutality. Basically the blueprint for Nile albums such as “Seeds Of Vengeance.” The rest of the album pretty much follows suit incorporating the expected MORBID ANGEL magic through the mix of the down-tuned darkened pummeling dual guitar riffing of Azagthoth and Rutan, Vincent’s double bass line abuse and guttural vocals with Sandoval’s blastbeat drum abuse. However with the addition of dramatic war march doom metal sequences, more atmospheric keyboard touches and unexpected detours into sludge metal means DOMINATION is the most diverse MORBID ANGEL album of the early Vincent years. Personally i also find this to be the one i find most interesting. Despite all the brutality as well as being the pioneers of the genre, the first three albums haven’t aged quite as well as i would’ve hoped. DOMINATION on the other hand has all the aggression and attitude of a quality extreme metal album without the monotony of a ceaseless fire of riffs to infinity. An under-appreciated masterpiece me thinks.
Warthur
David Vincent's last album with Morbid Angel before a nearly decade-long hiatus features his best and most forceful vocals to date, and musically the band has the muscle and power to match him. At points, Domination is the heaviest of Morbid Angel's first four albums; the inclusion of keyboards for a couple of interludes and an outro does not change the fact that by and large the songs are focused on the sort of raw, primitive, and intense death metal with a doomy edge which Morbid Angel listeners know and love. I'm inclined to say it's the best of the band's albums, and it's certainly a worthy followup to Covenant.
J-Man
This Means War!!

My introduction to Morbid Angel was with their fantastic debut, Altars of Madness; a release surely among my favorite old school death metal albums. After playing the living crap out of that album, it was definitely time for me to purchase more from this U.S. death metal outfit. When I saw this album (along with Gateways to Annihilation) available for a ridiculously low price at my record store, I snatched them both up, came home, cranked the volume up to 11, and let the music immerse me. I was not disappointed. After such an incredibly positive first listen, one can only assume that each progressing spin gets even better. While Domination hasn't grown on me as much as I was hoping it would, this is a fantastic album nonetheless.

The music on Domination should be no surprise if you're familiar with Morbid Angel. Expect fast-paced death metal with somewhat melodic riffing, killer guitar solos, and some hints of technicality. One of the best things about Morbid Angel is their ability to create extremely memorable death metal songs that are all easily distinguishable from each other. Far too many death metal releases suffer from the fact that all the songs sound the same, but that is not the case with Domination. Every song here could stay embedded in your head for weeks on end, and when you finally put the album on you simply can't help but completely "rock out". Yes, this album is somewhat accessible, but the never-ending riffs never become tired, no matter how many listens.

Domination is a 44:42, 11-track album. A pretty good length for a death metal album, if you ask me. It also certainly doesn't hurt that every song here is pure and unbridled awesomeness either. My favorite tracks are Where The Slime Live; Eyes to See, Ears to Hear; Nothing But Fear; and Caesar's Palace. All of the songs are fantastic death metal compositions, though. I especially like the two interludes, Melting and Dreaming, both of which are haunting, keyboard-driven opuses. They serve as a nice break between all of the death metal intensity, and inject even more diversity into Morbid Angel's sound.

The musicianship on Domination is some of the best in the business. All 4 members of Morbid Angel during this era are extremely gifted musicians, and throughout the album this is proven multiple times. Pete Sandovals drumming often steals the cake for me (wow, that guy is a freakin' maniac!!!), but the two guitarists (Trey Azagthoth and Erik Rutan), and David Vincent's aggressive vocals and bass playing are fantastic as well. These musicians play together as a tight, never sloppy, unit - something that is essential for any death metal release.

The production is very good on Domination. I initially wasn't a big fan of the somewhat over-produced sound, and preferred the unpolished sound of the debut, but after multiple listens I've been proven wrong. The production is very powerful, and fits the music perfectly.

Conclusion:

Domination is yet another great album by Morbid Angel. Now that I have heard all of their albums, I can confidently say that this is among the band's best. Every song is memorable and unique, and that alone makes Domination worth 4 stars. Highly recommended to all death metal fans.

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