A big welcome to COMMANDER and its individuals, with “World’s Destructive Domination” they have made a noteworthy debut album. I’ve learned that Death Metal is an art form that the Germans know how to do; COMMANDER is further evidence. They were formed in 2001 and released their first material in 2003, on a demo named “Promo 2003” that was. All of the songs from that demo can be found on “World’s Destructive Domination”. In 2005 they released a demo version of the album in question, though not with all of the songs. Their first full length, released on a really obscure label by the way, consists of all the songs from the prior releases and then some. “MDD”, “Disharmony”, “The Attic” and “Save One’s Own Hide” are the then somes.
There are many good reasons for taking a listen to “World’s Destructive Domination”; the production is one of them. I’m not able to find out which studio this band used (Helion-Studios München) but every Death Metal band in Germany should consider it. At least if they’re looking for a modern, yet stomping, sound. The production can’t be called dirty or underground but after all every one can’t listen to lo-fi productions. Each to his/her own.
Another good reason is the fine tuned heaviness of the guitar. I don’t think the riffs could’ve asked for a better sound to wallow in. The riffs are good most of the time as well, which makes for yet another reason for this album getting as much praise as it does. It’s not perfect all the way, but when they get all things right they are a force to be reckoned with. As you can read from the score this band gets it right most of the time. There are some riffs that could’ve easily been left out in the cold but are also riffs that many guitarists out there would’ve wished they invented themselves, at least Death Metal guitarists. The riffs might sound old to some but personally I think that they are played with such energy and drive that it doesn’t matter if they aren’t groundbreaking, original or new.
“World’s Destructive Domination” is a varied album seen from a Death Metal perspective. There is very little of other genres on this album but there are some songs that derides a bit from the formula. “Drown In Sorrow” is one of them due to it’s ultra slow tempo. If it hadn’t been for the blast beats in the middle I would’ve called it pure Doom Metal. “Dead But Alive (Chapter II)” sounds a hell of a lot like GOJIRA. It’s a mellow song, and while it doesn’t outshine anything found on “From Mars To Sirius”, GOJIRA’s most recent album, I haven’t heard any of the others, it is far from being a stinker. The following song, and also the last one, differs because it has quite some clean vocal lines. The previous song also has clean vocals but they are hardly sung, more spoken. Somewhere in the middle perhaps, you decide. If you don’t like the idea of clean vocals in your Death Metal I can assure you that 90% of the album is properly growled .
Even though that “World’s Destructive Domination” has a fair share of blast beats and heavy riffs, I wouldn’t call it a vicious album. When you listen to this album you don’t get the feeling of a band trying to be evil. Some bands do sound evil but some fail miserably at it as well. I don’t know if it should be lain weight on but in the song “Drowned In Sorrow” I’m positive that I hear this line: “God will bless you all”. I haven’t been able to dig up their lyrics so I don’t know which context it stands in but it doesn’t sound too mocking in these ears. Either way, does it even matter? Good music is good music nonetheless.
COMMANDER won’t revolute the Death Metal scene but they are a fine alternative for those looking for a stomping ride of Death Metal. (Online September 18, 2006)