Written by: TL on 05/11/2009 14:46:25

Phew. Since that sixteen reviews in a week stint of mine, I guess it's not unfair for me to feel a little bit drained when it comes to continuing my writing here, but alas, the show must go on, and it will with this review. Band name: Dominic. Album title: "Nord". Origin: Trondheim, Norway. Genre: Indie/Screamo. That was pretty much the knowledge I had when I set out to review this, the band's second album. At least I think it's the second album, as info about this band is pretty scarce, and in fact, there may be an EP released on the same day, bearing the same title, and that might be what I'm actually supposed to review? I'm not sure, but since I've managed to get my hands on the full length anyway, that's what I'll describe to you guys, and I'll just hope that Dominic's label do not mind.

So yeah, Dominic are labeling themselves indie/screamo, and the screamo tag is truer than most times it's used alright, as the raw, uncompromising, low-fi howls that almost exclusively make up for the vocals, are sure to stir up memories of true screamo/skramz bands like Daitro or Saetia, provided you ever heard of those. Otherwise I guess Jacob Bannon of Converge is the closest reference I can think of. As for the instrumental section, that's what makes for the indie label I think, as it sounds far from the insane break-core dynamics that most screamo bands, old or new-school, tend to utilize to some extent. Rather they rumble away, bass nicely and audibly positioned in the mix I might add, providing cold, echoing atmospheres underneath the screams.

The record opens up with what I'll go ahead and call its best song, "End Of Man". The reason this is the best song is because the guitars are the most prominent here, a soaring melodic riff making sure to embed the song in your memory, and with some good dynamics and passionate backing vocals, it's the kind of song that sends good parts towards the listener in waves, making it grow with each listen. This song I recommend getting. Unfortunately however, in spite of having tried some twenty times, whenever I let "Nord" be the soundtrack of my daily endeavors, my interest is quickly lessened as soon as "End Of Man" is over. The following "Idiocrazy" tries a more aggressive, less obviously melodic approach, and it's like the soundscape fades from colour-drained (think "300") to flat out grayscale, and never recovers.

I feel bad, making it sound like "Nord" only has one good song, but truthfully, there haven't been many other things on it than "End Of Man", that have really grabbed my attention. It could be the fact that the soundscape varies very little, or the fact that the lyrics are very fuckin' hard to make out, I'm not sure, but the fact of the matter is, that to me, despite many attempts, the remainder of this record only seems like "cool background music", rather than a memorable batch of individual songs. Hence I only find it suitable to recommend "Nord" to those already in the market for either skramz or atmospheric hardcore, and if the band are interested in making an impression outside of those categories, I urge them to try some new things on their next offering. Maybe include some more vocal styles, maybe clear up the production a little, or maybe take the dynamics to slightly extreme more places. I'm not sure which will help, I just know that at this point, I'm only completely sold on one track in particular. The rest is merely decent, not memorable.


Download: End Of Man
For The Fans Of: Saetia, Daitro, Converge

Release Date 28.09.2009
Fysisk Format / Great Northern / Denovali

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