Domain - Last days of utopia 3.5/5

Reviewed: 4-1-05





Tracklist:

1. Harbour of hope
2. A new beginning
3. On stormy seas
4. The shores of utopia
5. Ocean paradise
6. The beauty of love
7. The great rebellion
8. Endless rain
9. Last days of utopia
10. Underneath the blue
11. Left alone


Domain has been around since the 80s but have been inactive for much of that time, only having released a few CDs. They have been mostly a hard rock band but with this new CD they have ventured into symphonic metal more than usual and have done so successfully. This CD features a story written by singer Carsten Schultz which was put to music by band leader, guitarist, Axel Ritt.

'Last days of utopia' has a familiar setup for a symphonic metal CD, containing mostly uptempo tracks with one ballad, and 3 short instrumental, interludes between tracks. The bandís hard rock roots show through as many of the melodies have more of a hard rock feel than a true symphonic metal feel. Unlike the true symphonic bands, like Rhapsody, there is no orchestra here but the organ and synthesizer sounds to get the job done. Schultz has a good, strong, deep voice sounding like Symphony Xís Russell Allen at times. Although the focus is on the songwriting, there is plenty of excellent guitar work to be found on this CD also. Every track is well above average with many of them even better than that. The biggest fault of the CD is that while the songwriting is very good throughout, the songwriting never takes the next step of being excellent.

This is a very good CD overall and I hope the band continues along this path. Even though the songwriting is good, but not excellent, the band fits this style of music very well. The songwriting is consistent, the singer fits the music well and the symphonic elements take the sound a step beyond where it would've been if they had remained a standard hard rock band.



DAVID




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