Morbid Angel - Domination
Earache Records
Brutal Death Metal
11 songs (44:43)
Release year: 1995
Morbid Angel, Earache Records
Reviewed by Tony
Archive review

Recently, Zad finally came around to reviewing Covenant. I anxiously awaited his review, and I must say it was a great one. While he may be right in stating that Covenant was the final of their opening three killer albums, the fourth down in the list, 1995’s Domination. For those of you who are not familiar with the styling of Morbid Angel, their albums have come in alphabetical order, beginning with Altars of Madness. Their ninth album is due this year, which begins with an I. While in many ways Zadok was correct about Covenant being the last of their incredible triumvirate, Domination in many ways is not far behind.

Like its predecessors of before, Domination is a meaty slab of seven string sacrilege, complete with the excessively skillful drumming of Pete Sandoval, who in many way can be credit as the first to put a time signature to the blast beat whilst in the fantastic Terrorizer, and the strong grunted vocals of David Vincent. The first thing I noticed when the initial riff of title(ish) track Dominate is played is the sheer power behind Trey Azagthoth’s guitar. The guitar here packs much more of a punch in your chest than previously. It seems as if the tone and production improved through each of the first four albums, reaching a level of polish and vigor not seen in their previous efforts. The most exciting part of Dominate is the incredible guitar solo. Trey Azagthoth wields his seven string with the best of anyone who plies their trade in the deep end of the treble clef. Dominate roars out of the gate with a flurry of immediate blast beats and speed picked verses. These blasts continue through the chorus. Pete Sandoval really displays his motor in this song, which proves to be an adrenaline rush and exciting intro to a rather decent album.

I always enjoyed reading the booklets, to gather information and interesting niches about bands and their members. If Heavy Metal is the chosen music for the youthful and intellectual, then it is evident as to why I enjoy owning cd’s. It is much more fun have a concrete collection that an array of loosely gathered computer files. One day my children will have the pleasure of experiencing the music of my childhood, much like I have done with my parents vinyl. The reason I mention that, is in small text in the Domination booklet under the acknowledgements section, Trey Azagthoth directly thanks Eddie Van Halen for the inspiration behind his solo on the droning track two, Where the Slime Live. Eddie Van Halen was the reason I began playing guitar, and for Trey to shred like that and offer up his respect to a true legend is very reverent of him indeed. Where the Slime Live. is the slowest song on the album, with almost consistent double bass running as almost a background buffer to the rest of the song. The listener could get lost in the drum track. The song continues as usual before a slight pickup in the pace followed by the incredible aforementioned solo.

Growing up in the Miami area, we know what hurricanes are like. My Mother compared the chugging, locomotive like sound of Hurricanes Andrew and Wilma to just that, freight train. Morbid Angel on these first four records sound as close to a hurricane as a set of musical instruments can get.

One of the most memorable riffs for me in the early discography of Morbid Angel is the intro verse to Dawn of the Angry. This song is heavy as balls, with an incredible solo to go along with some beastly vocals by David Vincent. Melting and Dreaming make up synth interludes. The latter followed by Inquisition (Burn With Me) another song with some type of vocal effect to go along with the loose and watery feel of Where the Slime Live. This song contains another riveting solo. The guitars really define and punctuate the album. While the work of the rhythm section is also outstanding, this is one of the only works of Morbid Angel where it is safe to say that the MVP is not Pete Sandoval. The great percussive innovator does an outstanding job here, but there was no need for above average kit work amongst the fury of Azagthoth’s numerous leads. This is one of the first Death Metal albums I ever bought, and still stays in my rotation once in a while. It is a fantastic record, which to some may mark a decline in Morbid Angel. Let us hope that the next offering is as scintillating as other albums past.

Killing Songs :
Domination, Where the Slime Live, Dawn of the Angry, Inquisition (Burn With Me)
Tony quoted 81 / 100
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Morbid Angel that we have reviewed:
Morbid Angel - Kingdoms Disdained reviewed by Andy and quoted 76 / 100
Morbid Angel - Illud Divinum Insanus reviewed by Jake and quoted 86 / 100
Morbid Angel - Entangled In Chaos reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Morbid Angel - Formulas Fatal to the Flesh reviewed by Tony and quoted 84 / 100
Morbid Angel - Covenant reviewed by Goat and quoted 95 / 100
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