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   DOMINE
Emperor Of The Black Runes
2004
AFM Records
http://www.dominetruemetal.com


rating: 5/5

1. Overture Mortale (Intro)
2. Battle Gods
3. Arioch, The Chaos Star
4. The Aquilonia Suit
5. The Prince In The Scarlet Robe
6. Icarus Ascending
7. The Song Of The Swords
8. The Sun Of The New Season
9. True Believer
10. The Forest Of Light

Now, with their fourth studio-album "Emperor Of The Black Runes", Domine finally made another step towards the power metal-olympus. The well known and usual trademarks of the earlier Domine records are also on the current CD: fast, symphonic and bombastic power metal. This CD makes no difference to the last records, the trademarks are clearly set and so is the way that is followed by the five Italians. So nothing really new here, but still the band is doing a very good job!

The songs are all typial for Domine. "Battle Gods", an uptempo-song with a great chorus, "Aquilonia Suite" that lasts for 11 minutes (based on the "Conan The Barbarian"-books by R.E. Howard), which seems like an ordinary five-minutes song. A great job is done here from the songwriters! "Icarus Ascending" is the highlight of the CD for me. Great chorus, very bombastic style during the whole song, the best song of the band history I'd say!!! "The Prince In The Scarlet Robe", inspired by the "Corum"-books written by Michael Moorcock. The multivocal chorus is very catchy. Being almost seven minutes long, the song is mid-tempo all the time but has a slight doublebass-part towards the end. "The Song Of The Swords" is not very spectacular, but again a band-typical song with a cool multivocal chorus. The Solo reminds me of a medieval mandoline, that's where the middle-aged flair comes from. More diverse is the eight and a half minutes-song "The Sun Of The New Season". After a single guitar intro, there's a very cool midtempo-riffing. Morby is having one of the duets here with Leanan Sidhe (she's almost a sixth bandmember, also heard on "Stormbringer Ruler"). In the middle part, there's once again a short keltic-influenced part. Another duet of Morby and Leanan follows towards the end, very cool! Her voice is really great, and - which is extremely important - her voice is harmoning (???) with Morby's voice excellent. "True Believer" is another song like "Battle Gods", highspeed, great voice, a slightly more dominating keyboard. Shortly: a typical Domine song! Towards the end, singer Morby seems to be reaching Mariah Carey-dimensions... "The Forest Of Light" is a pure accoustic song, another duet with Leanan Sidhe. A beautiful song, not typical at all for the band, but - hey, the are just developing their style a little.

After all, "Emperor Of The Black Runes" is a great album from a great band. People, who like power metal and who haven't heard of the Italian band Domine yet, definetely miss a great band!! "Domine ascending to the sky".

submitted by Paddy 24.01.2004

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