Let’s be honest, it’s not been an easy ride for DOMMIN. After such a promising rise following the release of debut album Love Is Gone and tours with the likes of THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE, BLACK VEIL BRIDES and VOLBEAT, the band walked into their first day of recording for second record Rise as Roadrunner Records underwent THAT huge change in structure following their selling to Warner, rendering the songs on Rise recorded and unmixed from April 2012 to September 2014. All firmly behind them now, this week saw the release of Beautiful Crutch via DNRecords.
A quick look at the band’s Facebook page shows an eclectic mix of influences from LACUNA COIL and BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE through to the aforementioned VOLBEAT and SEVENDUST, which goes a long way to explaining the diversity presented on the album. There’s the BILLY IDOL-infused, driving Show Me, the pop rock-orientated This World and the ballad-esque title track which sees frontman Kristofer Dommin bring out his inner Ville Vallo and carry the track along with low, moody tones. The overall highlights however are I Die, which showcases another strong vocal performance from Kristofer and a well thought out journey through pianos, acoustic guitars and strings, the chug of The Saddest Dream which is probably the heaviest song on the album and the power of album closer Outer Space, which starts slow but is tinged with AEROSMITH licks and a very infectious chorus. Special mention as well to keyboard player Konstantine, who adds an extra edge throughout the album with some truly gorgeous playing and arrangements.
However, the album is let down by one major factor and that’s the production, which at times sounds so threadbare it’s as if each member was standing five miles apart when they recorded each track. It really dampens the firepower that Beautiful Crutch could have packed, coming across distant and quiet. It has a knock on effect with the songs too because many of them just aren’t that memorable. That isn’t a deliberate contradiction because when in the flow of listening there are plenty of decent moments but there’s not really much that sticks in your mind; even if you played the album several times over successfully it wouldn’t be long before you’d struggle to recall a significant proportion of the choruses and melodies. It’s the biggest downfall here because DOMMIN are a promising outfit with enough ideas behind them to compete with the likes of HIM and EVANESCENCE; unfortunately, Beautiful Crutch sounds like a misfire and it’s a huge shame. A little more attention to the overall sound on the next record, however, and they could easily become something special.
Beautiful Crutch is out now via DNRecords.
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