DOMAIN - Last Days Of Utopia

Domain - Last Days Of Utopia

11 songs
51:32 minutes
***** **
Limb Music


Releasing their first album in the mid- to late-Eighties, the young German melodic hard rock band Kingdom soon changed their name to Domain. This was the time when I started reading metal magazines, at the tender age of 15, and I remember that I wasn't actually fond of Domain that I considered back then a hair crime poser band. The Nineties brought us grunge, and Domain did the smart thing by hibernating for exactly a decade before resurfacing in 2001 with a comeback album, which has been followed so far with three more, making their new millennium existence just as important as their Eighties lifespan.

It wouldn't be cool to play hairspray metal these days, and with all the myriads of bombastic melodic power metal bands, we shouldn't be surprised that Domain head into a very similar direction. Last Days Of Utopia is a concept album, and as such it isn't even done too badly. And while I didn't read the lyrics (and didn't have a lyrics sheet), I guess that the band's socially aware Eighties background even allows them to set up a story with a good moral, instead of nihilistic Nineties lamentations of juvenile dungeons and dragons fantasies.

The album begins, how could it be any other way, with a non-descript intro, before the regular opener A New Beginning shows that Domain never sound as old as they probably are. Of course their music floats between semi-progressive power metal and traditional Eighties hard rock. The vocalist has a very earthy voice that should appeal to fans of Ian Gillan and Graham Bonnett. To show that they are really serious, the album continues with the nine minute long epic On Stormy Seas, and while far from being a classic, it certainly has its moments. In the beginning, I didn't like the album so much, but a screw-up on my computer forced me to work here longer than I intended to, making me use to time to repeat-listen. Essentially the songs are asking you for some of your time, before you really get them, and then you will see that some of their new stuff is actually quite good, as for instance Ocean Paradise.

In the end Last Days Of Utopia is far better than I was hoping for, and although there are still a couple of better trad metal albums around, this one is swimming far above the general mediocrity we are faced with too often in this time and age. Melodic hard rock fans should check this one out.

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