Sound: Morbid Angel's second offering on major label Giant Records and the last studio album (pre 2004) to feature band frontman David Vincent, Domination is one album that divides many Morbid Angel fans. You either love this album or you hate it but you can't deny that the band still broke barriers in pushing death metal into new terrain. The one key figure here is the guitar genius Erik Rutan, his partnership with Trey brought the technical level of MA into elite status. To many death metal fans and even Morbid Angel fans this album sparks the sell-out debate over it's production. Here are the tracks
1.Dominate: a great opener featuring top notch lyrics and a killer solo courtesy of mr Rutan. The riffs compliment the great drive of this song and it opens the album brilliantly. My only criticism is the length as it is only about 2 and a half minutes long.
2.Where The Slime Live: this one follows God Of Emptiness as a sludgy ugly bastard of a tune. The tempo is creepy, sludgy and slow throughout. David Vincent's vocals are made creepy by the distorted effect used throughout and they fit the song well. The solo is a plus courtesy of Trey.
3.Eyes To See Ears To Hear: the best thing about this song is David Vincent's vocals and lyrics which deal with things that corrupt you and focusing on your own view of life, quite simply inspiring stuff. The riff is pretty plain nothing special about it but the solos are great, really melodic from Trey and Erik and displays their great partnership.
4.Melting: an instrumental, not much to say about it.
5.Nothing But Fear: good lyrics here but this song lacks a real pulse or spark the riff is a bit bland and the solo is second rate.
6.Dawn Of The Angry: again this is more along the lines of Nothing But Fear but the difference is that the riffs are much better and compliment the vocals more the previous track.
7.This Means War: well again a moderate effort. The lyrics are crap on this one and it is hard to maintain interest with this track.
8.Caesars Palace: this is the most progressive song MA had recorded till this point. It features a long intro and also the best riffs on the album. The solos are out of this world and add to the epic nature of the song. The lyrics are great and are kind of like sworn to the black but instead of evil the lyrics call for a return to the ways of Julius Caesar who was a roman dictator.
9.Dreaming: another instrumental not their best one but this one is worth a listen.
10, 11.Inquisition and Hatework are both let downs and don't really add to the album worth a listen but not great by any means. // 7
Lyrics: Domination features another change in David Vincent's vocal delivery. The previous album features both raspy and guttural vocals and was in my opinion a better vocal performance. On some songs here he has a distorted effort filtered through his voice and it adds to the creepiness of the bands sound. The one thing I will praise Vincent for on Domination is that the lyrics are a real departure Trey Azagthoth has stated that this album is his least favourite because of what he described as mundane lyrics and I'll admit some of David Vincent's worst lyrics are on display here. Certain songs, some songs like dominate, eyes to see ears to hear, nothing but fear and caesars palace are awesome though. Fans of Pantera songs like Five Minutes Alone and the heavy Sepultura stuff will like the vocal delivery here. The lyrics are a departure from before there are almost no satanic or sumerian references and can only be described as abstract. The best lyrics I think are on Caesars Palace which deal with the return of Caesar and his strong will. Dominance and strength typify the lyrics on display here hence the album title. // 8
Overall Impression: Not Morbid Angel's best album by any means but give me this over the horrible abortion that was the 2003 album Heretic and the chaotic 1998 album Formulas Fatal To The Flesh. This album compares quite closely to my favourite Morbid Angel album Gateways To Annihilation which utilised more layered and epic sounding riffs but on Domination they are not as focused but this is still a solid effort and well worth buying. // 8