:: REVIEWS ::
 


THE HAND AND THE SWORD (2000)

Review taken from Darkwood

Dieses ist ein Projekt von Tharen (Dargaard), der hiermit einen Ausflug in die teilweise harte Electro Welt startet. Mit dabei seine Mitstreiteren Elisabeth Toriser, und Lanz (Amestigon), hier verantwortlich fürs Gitarrenspiel. Sirenengeheul leitet dieses Album ein, und es ist auch zu Beginn besser auf diesen zu Hören und sichere Räume aufzusuchen. Fast Industrial mäßig mit dem dazugehörigen verzerrten Vocals kommt "apocalyptic views" aus den Boxen.  Interessant wirkt der Song durch dunkel, melodische elektronische Untermalung. So werden Härte und Schönheit zu perfekten Gegenspielern. Dazu Deutsch eingesungene Sprachfetzen und weibliche Backround Töne. Mit den Worten: "Dafür wirst Du brennen Engel, in der Hölle ", beginnt der nächste Electro Kracher ("The angel's delusion"). Erneut steht der aggressive Gesang im Disput mit düsteren Klanggebilden. Das Gitarrenspiel scheint sich klar auf die Seite des Sängers zu stellen und läßt so einen perfekten Crossover aus metallenen und elektronischen Spielarten entstehen. Dazu werden im Mittelteil unterstützende Sprachsamples eingefügt. Das instrumentale Titelstück erinnert noch am ehesten an seine Hauptband. Sehr ruhig wirkt das balladeske "Immortal reign", welches allein von Sängerin Elisabeth in bekannter Manier vorgetragen wird. Nur dezent mit Sprachfetzen untermalt kommt "Corona of the Sun" als typischer Dark Wave Song daher. Nach diesen Momenten der Ruhe und des stillen Genusses packt Tharen bei "transmitting" wieder den Elektro Hammer aus und knallt uns diesen Song mit harten Beats im Zeitlupentempo um die Ohren. Ein Gemisch aus Tönen ist "with the strength of aceons".  Ein Death Elektro Metall Gewitter mit süßlichen weiblichen Vocals bildet den Schlußpunkt vor dem ruhigen instrumentalen Outro. Diese Projekte sind ja dafür da, fernab von der Hausband einen Sound zu kreieren, der eine andere Vorliebe ans Licht bringt. Tharen ist es gelungen mit diesen Werk einigen Elektro Acts, die sich in diesem Metier wohl wesentlich besser auskennen, kräftig in den Arsch zu treten. (Andreas)

Review from Starvox

I adore surprises when it comes to music and CD reviews. Dominion is one of those refreshing finds, as they deliver an engrossing and ensnaring breed of darkwave electronica. Rooted in metal, this project fuses (and sometime confuses) treated black metal rasps and superb female vocals with mid paced electronic and ambient Industrial. There are similarities here comparable to Oneiroid Psychosis especially, which definitely puts them in a very posititive light, and the lead female vocals remind me somewhat of Battery/Ivoux siren Maria Azevedo.  The overall release has its strong, substantial moments and other tracks do not seem as focussed as others, with a kind of fifty/fifty hit or miss.

However, the four or so tracks that standout are shimmering with a promise of sincere potential in the future. The album’s opening track has a moody atmosphere and hints of a powerful CD to unfold. Galloping electronic drums, distorted male vocals, and murky wire synth blend together for a hypnotic and gloom-soaked intro. However the CD is a rollercoaster ride of positive and negative. The second track, though strong and well crafted, is more aggressive, with electric guitars, and a vibe that is exactly one half anthematic Industrial and one half Black Metal.  It makes for an interesting and unique combination, but the make vocals are too harsh and hinder any potential for club play.  Instrumental breaks of electronic drums patterned after double bass drumming with a spooky female vocal loop also adds a dense and memorable aspect to this song.

But the CD dips further for one of the first of many ‘filler’ tracks of simplistic ambience, but quickly is remedied with the masterpiece, “Immortal Reign.” This track is an awesome song with a slow sensual reverberated drum beat, acoustic guitar/synthesized harps, and deep female vocals, with the occasional male vocal whispers. The song is absolutely incredible and ranks high among other ethereal/darkwave masters as Lycia, Ivoux, Die Form, Black Tape, Attrition, etc. This song will be making it into several of my DJ play lists for certain.

If Dominion allow vocalist Elizabeth to front the project and keep male vocalist Tharen under control for a whisper, spoken verse, or scream here and there, this band will be creeping into clubs in both the US and Europe.  They need to focus and keep on track such as with the aforementioned opening and fourth track, and also the nice finale of the CD “With The Strength Of Aeons,” a perfectly energetic, upbeat Industrial song accented by Elizabeth’s vocal harmonies, epic synths, and driving dance rhythms. It falls short only for the male vocals again, but it’s not as abrasive and distracting as on other tracks.As a fan of dark club music and black metal, I adore this but I see the potential for it to cross over to a wider audience if some fine tuning is considered.  I would love to see this band refine the male vocals and delve deep into the realms of straight-forward electronic/darkwave.  The music is well on its way to success. Dominion are a band to watch and this CD is definitely worth checking out and paying a lot of attention to.

An mp3 of “Immortal Reign” is available on the Napalm Records homepage, and I think DJs would be very smart to pay a visit and download this track to get a fine sample of what Dominion is capable of.

 

LIFE HAS ENDED HERE (2002)

Review taken from Sonic Seducer

Zwei Jahre nach "The Hand And The Sword" hier nun der nächste Streich des Dargaard-Ablegers Dominion III. Schon mit dem Opener "A Dead Heart In A Dead World", einem heftigen Industrial-Kracher, nur gelegentlich erhellt durch weiblichen Gesang, macht Mastermind Tharen klar: Life has ended here! Im weiteren Verlauf des Albums gewinnen auch mal heftige Gitarren die Oberhand, oder man gibt sich düster und bedrohlich und kreiert Soundtracks für niemals gedrehte Endzeitfilme. Sicherlich wieder ein Album, das man in dieser Art wohl kaum von Napalm Records erwartet hätte, welches aber eindrucksvoll zeigt, daß Tharens musikalischer Horizont weit über das hinaus geht, was er schon mit Dargaard und Amestigon auslebt. Eine gelungene Melange aus Metal und Industrial, die nach lediglich acht Stücken leider viel zu schnell ihr Ende findet und den Hörer in eine Realität entläßt, die sich oftmals kaum weniger düster darstellt als diese CD.

Review taken from www.starvox.net

'Life Has Ended Here' is a thunderous, bleak epic of industrial decay and cold atmospheres that will lull listeners into an uneasy hypnotic trance.  The fertile minds of Dargaard's Tharen and Elisabeth Toriser (along with Amestigon guitarist Lanz) have fashioned a grim, futuristic palette of harsh synthetic sounds and suffused them with Ms. Toriser's heavenly vocals to create -as they put it- 'apocalyptic electronic music'.  The soundscape they paint is at once inviting and yet frightening... compelling in its artistic vision and execution but disquieting in the emotions it draws forth. Perhaps the strangest thing about this album is that while it feels unique and original, it very successfully co-opts the styles of several other bands without actually ripping them off.  Fans of dark industrial/techno music will find themselves in familiar territory.  Several tracks on 'Life Has Ended Here' are more than slightly reminiscent of Rammstein, Samael, or other bands of that ilk... but what pleased me most about this album is that the bulk of it feels exactly like what one would expect if a post-'Stronghold' Summoning had veered away from Tolkien and tackled the Terminator instead. The monstrous, resounding percussion and hypnotic rhythms of 'The priests of emptiness' are unmistakably hallmarks of Summoning's distinct sound... as are the monotone rasps and oddly uplifting keyboard melodies that pierce the dark atmosphere.  Here's the rub, though:  Tharen and co. out-Summoning Summoning and beat them at their own game.  Whether by chance or design, Tharen has climbed to the pinnacle of hypno-metal that Summoning peered down from while delivering their masterpiece, 'Stronghold'.  From this lofty perch, Dominion III has unleashed several tracks that bear the unmistakable blend of beauty and ferocity that their Austrian bretheren have been known for.  'A dead heart in a dead world', 'The priests of emptiness', and 'Coming winter' are all instant classics of undeniable quality that will please any fan of this genre of music.  Simply put, if you enjoyed Summoning's performance on 'Stronghold' or 'Nightshade Forests', and would like to hear more of the same but set in an industrial, futuristic context, this album is a must-buy for you.  Fans of Dargaard will like this album if they can deal with the harsher electronics and sound effects that may well have come out of David Lynch's private collection.  Elisabeth Toriser's angelic laments lend the music an otherworldly flavor that distinguishes Dominion III from the other bands that share a similar sound.  I usually don't praise bands for being derivative of their peers... but in this case, the sound Dominion III achieves is less 'derivation' and more 'expansion'.  Tharen has taken all the best elements of dark industrial music, hypnotic black metal, and electronica and merged them into an extrememly satisfying, powerful whole.  'Life Has Ended Here' is a tour de force exhibition of Dominion III's mastery of setting a grim mood and transporting the listener into an enraptured trance from which they may never want to escape.

Review taken from www.basementbar.net

Dominion III have apparently found their niche in the electronic/ industrial metal world. More focused and simply better than their 2000 debut, The Hand and the Sword, Life Has Ended Here is a refreshing change of pace. Featuring seven songs with the vocal tandem of distorted vocalist Tharen and the clean female vocals of Elisabeth Toriser, Dominion III can't be readily compared to anyone, although the few remaining industrial metal fans will be in for a treat if they do discover Dominion III. The focus of Life Has Ended Here is in the mid paced but powerful percussion and the omnipresent keyboards. The distorted vocals and guitars bring in the metal aspect. Fans of the popular darkwave group Dargaard will be interested in Dominion III as both bands share members and Dagaard's influence can be heard on Life Has Ended Here.
Album Score: 7 out of 10  Reviewed By: Brett VanPut

Review taken from metalnetradio.com

Best i can describe this cd is .... its an experince ... not Metal nor Goth or even Techno,more of a hybrid of all... listening to this CD (numerous times i might add) i kept thinking to myself,damn this would make a killer soundtrack to a movie or a video game..For people looking for something a little different i suggest u check this cd out.  Waystëd Rëalm  7.5/10

Review taken from Eternity magazine

Dominion stehen laut Bandinfo für eine einzigartige Mischung aus Metal, Industrial und Electro, welche alles in allem der Dark Wave-Ecke zugeordnet wird. Zugegebenermaßen konnte mich dieses Genre noch nie begeistern, da desöfteren Monotonität und Einfallslosigkeit in einigen Veröffentlichungen dieser Sparte aufwarteten. Gespannt ging ich nun an Dominions ?Life has ended here? heran, würde doch eine oben beschriebene Mischung einen Anreiz bei mir hinterlassen. Auch bekannte Namen hinter diesem Projekt wie Abigor, Amestigon und Dargaard wissen zu gefallen, und so wagte ich mich nun an die ersten Tracks dieses Silberlings heran. Der Opener wartet mit verzerrtem Gesang, druckvollen Rhythmen und einer obskuren Monotonität auf die die Spannung auf den weiteren Teil des Albums wachsen lässt. Der folgende ruhige 2.Song weiß dann absolut zu begeistern, und führt den Hörer getrieben von einer zarten Frauenstimme in eine andere Welt, sehr beachtlich. Im darauffolgenden 3. Song gibt dann auch die Gitarre ihren Anteil zum Geschehen bei und fördert die Düsternis des bestehenden Materials. Abwechslungsreich und intensiv zieht sich das Album durch 7 Songs abtrünniger und morbider Faszinität, ohne auch nur kurzzeitig in Langeweile abzudriften. Empfehlenswert, da beschriebene Genres hier absolut bedient werden.

Review taken from Tartarean Desire

"Dargaard has always been one of my favorite bands on the Austrian label Napalm Records and when the front man of that band, Tharen, created this new band Dominion III (previously known under slightly different names) I was very excited to check them out.  Their debut album "The Hand And the Sword" was released in the year 2000 as yet another great album from the mastermind and now the follow-up is finally here. "Life Has Ended Here" continues in the same vein with apocalyptic electronic music, more industrial and harsher than the material he composes for Dargaard.  Elisabeth Toriser from Dargaard also helps him out with her wonderful vocals for Dominion III and as usual she does her job extremely. She only sings in a couple of the seven tracks though and most of the vocals are instead done by Tharen who uses heavy distortion to make them seem as extreme and harsh as possible. "Life Has Ended Here" is a wonderful album and to my knowledge there is no other band who do what Tharen does, neither with Dargaard nor with Dominion III. This is one of the reasons why I love Napalm Records so much, they sign a lot of unusual and unique bands. If you feel that the apocalypse is near then just sit down and listen to "Life Has Ended Here".  Stand-out tracks: "A Dead Heart In A Dead World", "Code Red", "Coming Winter"." (9/10)