During the five years that have passed since their bombshell first record came out, Domination Inc have gone from strength to strength within the worldwide metal scene while they received rave reviews for both their studio recordings and stage performance. As a support act, the Greek powerhouse made heavyweights such as Kreator, Annihilator or Sepultura break into a cold sweat for fear of getting upstaged, headlined successful international concerts and left its mark at festivals like Wacken.
After such a tour the force and given the experience the musicians gained, it is out of question to call them “Infants of Thrash” any longer, as the debut title suggested …but if there are still doubts about that, their second full-length Memoir 414 will sweep them aside in style.
“We wanted to slightly move away from our initial old-school sound and wrote the new material specifically with that in mind”, elucidates drummer Alpha. “It should sound heavier and more modern without sacrificing the energy we released with our early songs.” Upon hearing the huge production, you will see that these are no idle words. With the groundwork done by the band in collaboration with former Septic Flesh drummer Fotis Benardo at the helm of renowned Devasoundz Studios, the mastering job was entrusted to the practised hands of Henrik Udd (Architects, , At The Gates, Dimmu Borgir and many more), and the result can only be described as state-of-the-art, setting thrash metal standards and thereby raising the bar for any genre act, upcoming and established alike.
Deciphering the seemingly cryptic title turns out to be quite easy, since “D and N are the fourth, respectively fourteenth letter of the alphabet, so the number is simply an abbreviation of our name. Referring it to a memoir means that we tell a story with these songs.” Notwithstanding dirge-like interludes such as ‘Crux, Nux, Lux …’ that join the seperate tracks and make Memoir 414 seem like a cohesive effort, “the compositions don’t follow a narrative script but only a thematic red thread, reflecting our view on certain societal phenomena. Our conclusion is that all the bad stuff happening on a daily basis comes from within ourselves.”
The album artwork, conceived by the group’s country mate Vagelis Petikas of Revolver Design (Megadeth, Nightrage), is based on this very idea. “You see a lot of symbolism in there”, says the Alpha. “as it was actually hand-painted, it looks traditional and can be interpreted in many ways, but the heart has been consciously put in the centre, and the background is also textured like a brain for a reason.” Indeed, Domination Inc blending the ever-important emotional component of music with razor-sharp intellect, thus creating the impression of a band that, while acting on gut feeling, could not be more focused.
Tracks like ‘Culling’ or ‘Cutting Edge’, which reconcile classic genre tropes with latter-day Pantera-isms and even show black metal leanings, are winners right away – not least thanks to the bombastic sound that highlights each instrument whereas ‘Eye’ is as much a rhythmic curveball as it has a groove from hell. More unpredictable than ever, the members took the courage to cover Motörhead’s oddball ‘Love Me Forever’ because “we wanted to add a twist, so we simply tried this one out during rehearsals. It worked even when we interpreted it in our way, changing the second verse with a new riff and drum pattern while paying respect to the original.”
Elsewhere, you get pummeled by compact sledgehammers ‘Dehumanized’ – a blood transfusion for the genre, similar to the way The Haunted rejuvenated it via furious hardcore without giving up on catchy melodies – and ‘The Sickening’, which is accompanied by a stylish video clip and might be the record’s most representative tune. Contrastingly, the whopping ten minutes of ‘Day VIII Deus’ Ignorance’ turn out to be the group’s magnum opus so far and sounds nothing less than epic. “The fundamental idea behind the album is based on the notion that things are not as simple as the distinction between black and white”, the skinsman further explains. “However, we as humans have free choice and must pick which side we want to support. Art or creativity in general belong to the positive realm whereas the masses seem to revel in negativity. We think that you have to fight against the shit that occurs in your life because there is no other option if you think about it.” So eventually we are back in familiar metal territory where it is all about self-empowerment and individualism, enabling you to take the proverbial bull by the horns through taking action instead of just talking.
In this regard, the tense political and social climate on their home turf and beyond cannot leave any attentive artist cold either. “For sure, Greece is were we come from and, as our local environment, has an impact on the music we make”, affirms Alpha, nevertheless quickly adding that they consider themselves to be global players. “These songs are meant to be a fresh start with witch we want to make a difference.” Therefore, although “Inc” was affixed to their moniker due to legal issues, it comes at just the right time in the quintet’s career to distinguish it even more poignantly from the mediocre pack: Domination Inc are truly incorporated – an organised, well-oiled machine set to, in the truest sense of the word, … dominate!
by Andreas Schiffmann
DOMINATION INC. ARE:
Alpha - Drums
Ares - Guitar
Theo - Vocals