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Morbid Angel - Domination
Review: This album completely degenerates. Although the lyrics are evocative and hateful to a degree of emotional seizure in logical warlike completion of ideals, the vocal track is nearly monotonous and relies too much on textural technique while tone is reduced, tightening itself simultaneously around a consistent sound and eschewing the flaring bursts and seething pseudoharmonies expressed in the roaring shout, trademarks of earlier albums. Clearly designed to be more listenable, the style on "Domination" approximates a jazz-metal hybrid comfortable within the power chord techniques of death metal, emphasizing slowly building melodic and rhythmic collaboration with plenty of emphasis on traditional speed metal techniques.
As such, songs resemble the friendlier tonal patterns of mainstream work, solos face the pentatonic in a new light, and drums rumble at pleasant tempos and lower bpm at their peak speed than ever before. Interestingly a powerful doom metal influence emerges as a result, in music evocative of the darker emotions of Black Sabbath and the accompanying reliance on familiar associations of tone and symbol. What has changed most on this album is a loss of focus and simultaneously, a desire to join the larger social structure above the band in edge mainstream heavy metal. Consequently, while this album can be instantly appreciated on a listening level its vitality declines over repeated listens, as its musical figures are joined to an uninspired on-the-fly poetry of convenience, where earlier epics had a passion unmatched by most career bands.
These musicians are still top-notch, and the soloing on this album more conventionally controlled and worthy of purely musical academic analysis. so for any student of metal this is required listening; however, its intensity lags and thus does the degree of fluidity with which it is assembled, and through which it communicates.