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Kamelot - Dominion CD (album) cover

DOMINION

Kamelot

Progressive Metal


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Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Kamelot´s second CD showed only a glimpse of their future glories, but certainly was quite a leap forward since their debut. The music is competent - but not outstanding - power metal with some very interesting lyrics (based mostly on history) and fine musicanship by the band. They were starting to find their own sound and the guitar work of Youngblood shines through the whole CD. Also of notice are the good use of the keyboards to give the album a symphonic edge on some songs (another hint of their future bombastic orchestral arrangements).

The main problem here seems to be Mark Vanderbilt vocals. He has a decent voice, but he is also clearly a more hard rock vocalist, in the vein of Robert Plant (in latter days). And the songs ask for a more dramatic, operatic voice to fully exploit their potential. Fortunatly Kamelot would find a more fitting frontman soon after this album was out. But that´s another story...

Dominion shows a great improvement of the band, but they were still far from their peak, both as a group and as songwriters. It has some good moments, but if you´re new to the band start with Karma or Epica. 2,5 stars.

Report this review (#130297)
Posted Thursday, July 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Melodic metal for the masses

A year on from the band's debut "Eternity" and the line up remains unchanged. This would however be lead vocalist Mark Vanderbilt's final album with Kamelot, his place being filled by Roy Khan for "Siege perilous". Drummer Richard Warner would also make his final appearance here.

This can therefore be seen as the end of phase one of Kamelot; not just because of the line up changes which would follow, but because the band's style would noticeably change hereafter. For the present though, we have a natural follow up to "Eternity", which remains very much in the same style.

Once again, we start with a symphonic overture which immediately reassures us that the band have ambitions beyond simply creating straightforward metal. The double paced drumming which segues from "Ascension" into "Heaven" however does remind us of the band's foundations. "Heaven", which is a sort of Dream Theater meets Iron Maiden number, does have some progressive tendencies, the tempo being altered several times during its four minute duration.

Speaking of four minute duration, that appears to be the template the band worked to for the entire album, the tracks always remaining within a narrow band of 3˝ to 5 minutes. The following "Rise again" is a surprisingly melodic mid-paced song, with symphonic keyboards and an emotional vocal performance. The symphonic keyboards help to distinguish the album from others of a similar style and sound, "One day I'll win" for example sounding "Kashmir" (Led Zeppelin) like at times. The instrumental "Creation" is one of Kamelot's most adventurous pieces to date, featuring various band members displaying their dexterity one after the other. The synth is particularly notable here.

Overall, a highly enjoyable second album by Kamelot. While there are prog nuances in evidence, that is by no means the dominant impression. Those who enjoy the more melodic side of metal will however find much to please them here.

Report this review (#168208)
Posted Sunday, April 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
2 stars One day you'll win

Dominion was Kamelot's second album and the final one to feature Mark Vanderbilt on lead vocals before he was replaced by Roy Khan for the band's next album. With Dominion the band follows closely the template of their debut Eternity. These first two albums can be said to constitute the first era of the band's career and are quite different in style compared to what was to come later. The style is again close to that of Iron Maiden and Vanderbilt's voice reminds heavily of Bruce Dickinson of that band. Still, the occasional presence of piano, synthesisers and acoustic guitars add a dimension foreign to Iron Maiden and similar bands.

Still, as I mentioned in my review of Eternity, there were some hints already on these first two albums of the style that Kamelot went on to develop further with their third album Siege Perilous and then perfect on the brilliant The Fourth Legacy. I'm thinking here of the Symphonic and Neo-Classical elements that I so like about this band. But the progressive elements are admittedly not very strong yet at this point which might explain the low ratings that these albums get on this site. In general, I think that the early albums by Kamelot are underrated. Though, this applies especially to the excellent third album Siege Perilous. Since I posted my review of Siege Perilous here a few days ago, that album has continued to grow on me and I went back to give it another star (from three to four) and also raised my rating of The Fourth Legacy from four to five.

Dominon opens with a short symphonic intro that then leads into the first proper song. What follows is a set of moderately adventurous but appealing Heavy Metal songs, none of which are weak, but also none of which are remarkable. I was previously familiar with the song We Are Not Separate which was later re-recorded with Roy Khan and featured as a bonus studio track on the live album The Expedition. This song has a strong and memorable riff and is my favourite track off Dominion. In Creation a keyboard solo is present.

This album is recommended in addition to the equally good Eternity, though Kamelot's ascension to greatness would really commence with their next album

Report this review (#1017466)
Posted Tuesday, August 13, 2013 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Dominium saw the light in summer of 1997 and is Kamelot second album. Built with same attitude and energy as ther previous album, to me Dominium is my least fav Kamelot album , while is good for sure , to my ears is less intresting then later on releases from the band and is even a little let down from Eternity, only my opinion. Ok, the guitar work of Youngblood is impressive, such an underrated guitarist, really he is one of the best in his field. The music is ok here pieces like opening Ascension little instrumental is great or One Day I'll Win, the rest are ok only, not really bad moments overall. So, a good album but rather date it in my opnion, a thing that was not present on Eternity. 3 stars for this one, the great potential of the band was yet to come, later on with Sieges perilous the third album, and with excellent focalist from norwegians Conception - Roy Khan who replace Mark Vanderbilt.
Report this review (#1019152)
Posted Thursday, August 15, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars 'Dominion' is the second studio album by symphonic/power metal band Kamelot. Unlike most people, I think that this is a much stronger album then their debut. While their debut had it's shining moments, it felt a little too much like Queensryche at times. Not that that's a bad thing, I love Queensryche, but the best songs were the more unique tracks. For me, 'Dominion' shows a natural progression from debut to sophomore effort, having an overall stronger and more unique sound.

The album starts out with a symphonic prelude 'Ascension', which I find to be a great opener for the album and a great transition into the next track 'Heaven'. 'Heaven' immediately begins with double bass and a really fast bass-line. I love the solo and how the crunching guitar plays under the solo. The next song 'Rise Again' begins with an industrial feel having pulsating drums/electronics with the occasional guitar slash. The song does of course go into power metal, but surprisingly keeps the industrial sounds. Vanderbilt's vocals also fit really well with both the power and industrial styles. Definitely one of my favorites. Another one of my favorites comes right after, the powerful 'One Day I'll Win'. After the symphonic intro passes, the melodic guitar comes in with Vanderbilt's powerful vocals. While the song does remain the same most throughout, I never tire of the powerful stomp of the entire song.

The song 'Creation' begins with very beautiful bass work before the guitar comes in. Also about two minutes through, acoustics come in that remind me a bit of Opeth's softer songs. While not my favorite on the album, I find it to be a pretty interesting song on the album. Another favorite is the song after, 'Sin'. Beginning softly, the crunching guitar soon comes in. This song has many transitions from soft to heavy, and after the 2nd transition the song changes with some groove metal guitar.

This is the final album to feature original vocalist Mark Vanderbilt, and would be replaced with the great Roy Khan. While I do think Roy Khan is the better vocalist, and his vocals would contribute greatly to masterpieces such as 'Epica' and 'The Black Halo', Mark Vanderbilt does give a great performance on this album. Vanderbilt's vocals seem more raw then Khan's, and musically this album a bit rawer and much less polished. He still does sound like Geoff Tate at times here, but I think the rawness this time around gives his vocals his own sound.

Overall, a big step up from the debut, and I highly recommend this album to any fans of symphonic/power metal.

4.5 rounded down to 4

Report this review (#1380996)
Posted Wednesday, March 11, 2015 | Review Permalink
2 stars The band's debut 'Eternity', despite being nothing more than standard 90's power metal, had some pretty cool moments in there. Unfortunately their follow-up album, 'Dominion', is more-or-less the same thing, only with all- round weaker and less memorable songs.

However, with that said, there are two highlights for me, which is 'Song of Roland' and 'We Are Not Separate'. At this point both of these songs are stronger than anything else Kamelot recorded on this album or its predecessor. Sadly they're just not enough to save the whole album from being anything more than "good".

An all-round good power metal album, not really for anyone other than Kamelot diehards though. The best is yet to come.

Report this review (#1475249)
Posted Sunday, October 11, 2015 | Review Permalink

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