“Dominion VIII” is the latest album released by the Death Metal mongers GRAVE from Sweden in a career that has stretched over twenty years. In a scene where many bands are swayed by more modern influences and ideologies, GRAVE stays steadfast in their ways and remain one of the champions of old school Death Metal.
2008 has all the potential to be a great year for Death Metal, with bands like BLOODBATH, FACEBREAKER and MONOLITH DEATHCULT the source of notable seismic activity, and KRISIUN and ABORTED still to come. But with “Dominion VIII”, GRAVE throws down the gauntlet and stands ready for battle. Despite GRAVE being one of the oldest groups still active in the genre, this is one of the liveliest and most energetic releases in recent years and pays homage to an experienced band with some tight and technical skills. You won’t expect the band to put a foot wrong on the album and you’d have a hard time identifying any such misplaced feet on what is essentially a very straight forward release.
Compared to the preceding album, “As Rupture Comes”, “Dominion VIII” has a much darker driving force behind it and throughout the album I had nagging thoughts leading my mind to Black Metal. Perhaps it was only the icy coldness of some of the riffs that lead me wondering down this path, but there is a black spirit to this album that I find very appealing.
(Although I cannot recall the product), there is an advertisement slogan that reads: “No frills, no fuss, just good value” and that is the best way I can sum up what is a very good, yet unsurprising album. “Dominion VIII” will be a fine addition to any Death Metal collection and, as the year reaches its halfway mark, will be a strong contender for Death Metal album of the year.
(Online July 1, 2008)