Dominant – The Summoning (2018) REVIEW

The roots of Norwegian brutal-technical death metal band Dominant stretch back about a decade to the band Hideous Deformity, who you’ll likely remember if you followed Sevared Records at the peak of tech-death’s resurgence. That isn’t to say that Dominant shares ton in common with Hideous Deformity apart from having it’s key songwriter and guitarist and being of a similar genre. While his previous band was the skittery, flighty technical death metal a la Spawn of Possession, ‘The Summoning’ is an EP more concerned with groove and riffing before anxious riff-mush. Their debut has a foot steeped in old school death metal while executing at the clicking-speed of your average brutal death band from the early millennium.

‘The Summoning’ checks all the right boxes for a brutal death album you’d hear back in 2008 where it has somewhat generic vocal patterns ah via Frank Mullen, but often features a death metal version of a gang-shouted vocal that is maybe more inherently Origin in nature. The session drummer might as well be programmed with his double-bass playing and clattering sound. His work deserves a meatier sound and only works when slightly buried by the louder guitar riffing. The bassist similarly has some of the EP’s most effective moments and is squashed by the level of the guitars and inhaled vocals.

Your level of enjoyment here will absolutely rely on your interest in 00’s brutal death metal and the groove-intensive, self-conscious tech death movements beyond. This type of album is a love or hate sort of thing for me in general; as no matter how much I enjoy the riffs on a Hate Eternal album, I’ll never like any of the drumming. Thankfully Dominant fill out 20 minutes of brutality, effectively and in a style that greatly improves upon their previous work in other bands.


Artist Dominant
Type EP
Released January 1, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp! Follow Dominant on Facebook

Excessive cruelty from oppressive regimes. 3.25/5.0

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