Sound — 7
While HIM's Vile Valo is currently MIA, the vacancy that he and his band have left in the neo-goth scene while they're busy doing whatever it is they are doing is certainly semi-fillable by a band like Dommin. No, Dommin aren't anywhere close to the stature that HIM have achieved over the years, but give these newbies some time and they are bound to make their mark. Dommin could veritably get "there" with Love is Gone, their head-down, glass-is-half-empty, "It can rain all the time" debut, which is stacked with moody keyboard melodies and surprisingly poppy song structures. If Type O Negative shacked up with Life of Agony's Keith Caputo and went on the prowl with Danzig one night and Depeche Mode the next, the ensuing result would sound a lot like Dommin and the gothically romantic, dark hard rock opus that is Love is Gone. If you like to wear all black, floor-skimming trench coats, red velvet even in summer!and like your hard rock to be nocturnal and adorned with bells, keys and razor-sharp riffery, then Dommin will soon blare from your iPod and quotes from the band's music will serve as your MySpace headlines, Facebook updates or Twitter tweets. It's certainly the type of music that attracts those who like to bark at the moon, with it's layered, textured, guitar-driven sound. Even amidst all this moodiness, there's an impressive knack for pop melodicism, too.
Lyrics — 8
Kristofer Dommin's voice belies his years. He has a deep, throaty roar that's more common to a seasoned veteran. It's almost difficult to believe that this is his band's debut. His voice will undoubtedly summon memories of Life of Agony's Keith Caputo in his formative years, circa River Runs Red on "My Heart, Your Hands." But that's only one song and the devil-locked Dommin has a wider ranger that is displayed on the new wave'ish "Tonight" or the quirky "Dark Holiday" and the title track. He can soar high and swing low and his voice truly functions as one of the album's most impressive hallmarks. Perhaps that's why the band bears his namesake? The lyrics also explore topics like fractured relationships, love being a living hell, celebrating dark holidays and other damage that's inflicted on our fragile aortas. If anything, Kristofer Dommin is doing his best to be the voice of the brokenhearted. It's a topic that never goes cold in aggressive rock music and Dommin add their own heat to it.
Overall Impression — 8
Love is Gone could go hand-in-hand with New Moon, the next film in the Twilight franchise, as the band's aesthetic appeals to the same set that worships dutifully at that book and movie series' altar! In keeping with theatrical references, there's certainly a The Crow-like darkness to Dommin, but it's more inviting and welcoming than it is dangerous and distant. Love is Gone is a mere glimpse into Kristofer Dommin's ticker and we suspect that on subsequent albums, he'll provide even more details about his life and loves set to gloomily pretty music.