Written by Mass
- Artist: Dominia
- Album: The Withering of the Rose
- Genre: Symphonic Doom Death Metal – Melodic Gothic Metal
- Release Date: January 20, 2020
- Country: Russia
- Highlights: The Night and the Dark Room – Nomoreus – The Withering Of The Rose – Suprema
- Rating: 9.0
Demonic and Divine
Although more than two decades have passed since Dominia formed in 1999, they have a very sparse but steady discography of only five albums. This shows how meticulous this band is when it comes to artistic production. This, in turn, may have resulted in their current status of obscurity and the fact that they are not well known among listeners to this genre despite all their merits and talents.
Their latest release, The Withering of the Rose, spectacularly blends metal (in all its dark forms: doom, black, doom death, gothic) with melancholy classical music which borders elegant in some parts. In fact, this bringing to prominence of classical music, and not merely inclusion of it as an unremarkable background plane of sound, is what consequently brings this album to excellence. “The Night And The Dark Room”, which has metal in its fabric, is a profoundly classic piece with strings as its driving force, having acoustic instruments and field recordings (such as the sound of pouring rain) bolstering this construct. The sound of violin on this track reminds me of Albioni’s Adagio in G Minor (not that they are similar, it just emits a similar vibe) and the acoustic guitar and sound of rain create an atmosphere like that of neo-folk bands (take Vali as an example) and when this composition moves towards its end, the sound of organ brings to mind some works of Johann Sebastian Bach maybe.
It is a rather undemanding task to find up-to-par musicianship, vocals and lyricism in the world of metal; what we lack, however, is the genius that projects a band to an elevated level of communication and not sheer presentation of itself. This album communicates. It communicates meaning and feeling with the listener. One song that falls on the metal end of this spectrum of melancholy/austerity is “The Light Of The Black Sun” which is forcefully distressing (send me to oblivion/I’m so tired/ let my soul just die). On the other end Suprema exists with its gloomy opening that later on progresses into a sophisticated doom death piece. The distinguished presence and voice of Sakis Tolis of Rotting Christ on “My Flesh And The Sacred River” has also granted to this track a melodic black essence and has created a yet another scope of music on this album.
The artwork, in all its visual appeal because of the contrasting colors of black and various shades of orange, remains a literal interpretation of the album title (The Withering of the Rose) and captures the superficial layer of the album and fails to reflect its complexity and therefore, can not touch upon the essence of it. Still, it is a simple but nice-looking work.
Overall, this album is made to satisfy the listeners. Music-wise it is a grand collaboration of dark metal and classical music where both have had their opportunities to put to front the best they have to offer. Also, as far as vocals, whether clean or harsh, are concerned, they are diverse but all befitting to the music. The Withering of the Rose is surely an album to take pride in for Dominia.
- Lyrics: 9.5
- Artwork: 7.0
- Musicianship: 10
- Vocals: 9.5
- Overall: 9.0