September 4, 2020

Domination Black is a melodic/power metal band from Kotka in the south of Finland, with Judgement IV being, yes you’ve guessed it, album number four. The band formed in 2003 with their first two albums being solid hard and heavy melodic rock that made waves in their native land. In 2009, the original vocalist, Kari Killgast, left the band to be replaced by Matias Palm (Merging Flare, Heavy Metal Perse) and album number three, Dimension: Death, followed in 2012. This was the album that seemed to break the band in new territories and raised their profile significantly with their exciting melodic power metal. All three albums have much to offer but you can see the new band developing a unique and distinctive charisma with Dimension: Death. The guitars seem more vital and thrilling with some great melodic keyboard work, giving more than a hint of the symphonic to the proceedings, and Matias Palm is a vocalist extraordinaire indeed.

A CD single was released in 2014, but there has been a long break since then and Judgement IV has therefore been a long time coming – but the extended break has obviously done the band a power of good, as they have returned with a classic power metal masterpiece. There have, inevitably, been a few tweaks to the personnel with the band now lining up as Matias Palm (vocals, Teppo Heiskanen (guitar), Juuso Laitinen (guitar), Lauri Eerola (bass), Ville Nissinen (drums) and Juuso Elminen (keyboards). The new team has totally invigorated the band with musicianship of the highest order, together with some of the best guitar and keyboard interplay you will hear, and takes us back to the glory days of Rainbow Rising.

This is a heavy yet very melodic power metal album with some elements of symphonic rock elevating it in grandiosity. Matias Palm is immense with such a perfect rock voice, and when combined with the amazing licks of Heiskanen and Laitinen and the majestic keys of Elminen then you know you are in the presence of something special and wonderful. Very much in Edguy, Helloween and Brainstorm territory, this is one hell of a power metal album from a band with more than a little genius in their collective genes!

Track List: The Judgement (4:06), Obsession (4:02), Center Of The Universe (4:29), VAT (4:38), Though The World Perish (4:47), Beyond The Shadows (7:00), This Endless Fall (3:31), Master Of Deception (4:13), Empire Of Lunacy (5:46), In The Abyss (4:28).

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