DOMINANZ – Noxius
Industrial oriented black metal on the second go around for Norway’s Dominanz, "Noxious" showcases a four-piece driven to dominate through solid riffing and repetitive tempos/ vocal elements that can be quite hypnotic. Curveballs come in for the clean Middle Eastern guitar strains before the ominous, slithering arrangement for "Dream of Fire" and slightly progressive electric chug against a semi-tribal meets trip through the forest feel for "Divine Ignorance".
Bassist, guitarist, synth player and vocalist Roy may wear many hats, but he captivates in his dual clean/ extreme melodies. Channeling the deepest bass lows of Pete Steele one moment, then gravitating to blackened screams the next, Dominanz can keep your ears abuzz because of this musical stew sound the quartet delivers. "Noxius" proves you can be aggressive and stylistic, incorporating gothic and industrial elements into the black metal scene without sacrificing integrity. Sound effects throughout "Discipline" add to the horror factor, while wind movements add to the cyber slamming "Servile Lackeys" as the slower tempo just pummels the brain.
I must admit that Dominanz is not my normal fare for casual listening, but for some reason they connect on many levels in terms of their presentation, arrangements, hooks, and overall performance. Keeping the 9 songs in a reasonable 45 minute timeframe aids the cause, allowing me to sink deeper into the songs with each successive exposure. Madness, expressed in music form, can be an intriguing experience. Dominanz should continue to explore these multi-level nuances through subsequent releases, as "Noxius" captures a band on a whole different plane.