|Review: Morbid Angel - Domination|
Label: Earache Records
Year released: 1995
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: June 23, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 3.54/5 (70.8%) (50 Votes)
This was number four from one of the longest-lived Death Metal bands of all time. While the start of their career was marked by innovation and breakout success, this was where Morbid Angel slipped over into mediocrity and going through the motions.
I don't hate this album, but it goes nowhere. There is less instrumental/ atmospheric wankering on this album than on "Blessed Are The Sick", but the songwriting is just not up to the drill, folks. "Dominate" is an OK opener, and "Where The Slime Live" is a genuinely cool song, slower and creepier than MA usually are. But so much of this is just rehashes of songs and riffs that this band has done before, and so much of it sounds so much alike. After "Dawn Of The Angry" there is really nothing to perk things up at all until the decent closer "Hatework". Overall this is a more stripped-down and simplistic Morbid Angel, and both Sandoval and Azagthoth are oddly reined in here. I think the fact that this was released in 1995 – the very heart of the metal Dark Age – gives us a clue as to why this is so bland. Morbid Angel had actually gotten some commercial success with their previous two albums, and this was obviously an album aimed at getting a more mainstream audience, so the excesses were toned down, and the whole thing was made to sound a bit more like Pantera, so all the mall kids would buy it. That has to be the explanation, as I can think of no other reason why the songwriting and production on this album are so freaking dull. And the lyrics? I'll make one point right here that virtually proves this was a sellout album: No Satan references anywhere. Not one. Now I am hardly an addict to songs about Satan, but for this band it's like waving a red flag. We get lots of pussy ranting about anger and war – all very Pantera/Fear Factory aggro – but nothing about demons or Undead or anything mystical at all. The cover might as well have been a big dollar sign. "Dominate"? Hardly. "Depreciate" is more like it.
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