DOMINE - Emperor Of The Black Runes

Domine - Emperor Of The Black Runes

10 songs
59:32 minutes
***** **


Italian power metal band Domine puts a lot of emphasis on the fact that they have been around already for more than twenty years. That makes the band probably older than many of their fans. Emperor Of The Black Runes is their fourth album, and could give a wrong impression if you just listened to the first 10 minutes. In fact, after a rather unnecessary overture (a plague which has befallen too many metal bands), the album starts with the speed metal hymn Battle Gods, which is followed by the powerful Arioch, The Chaos Star. Those two songs work really well for me, and awaken glorious memories of the Golden Eighties. From there on, Domine show their true face, which is epic power metal. Especially the two long pieces The Aquilonia Suite and The Sun Of The New Season point that out, by being subdivided into six respectively five parts.

The lyrics are deeply rooted in the fantasy genre, and with adapting ideas from R.E. Howard (Conan The Barbarian) and part time Hawkwind member Michael Moorcock (Corum), they show that heavy metal literacy goes beyond Tolkien and AD&D. With most songs averaging six minutes and frequently more, this album tries to be very ambitious, but unfortunately it is here where Domine fail, as the keyboard arrangements just don't sound epic enough. I don't doubt the keyboarder's talents, but he needs to reprogram his instrument to convince me. Apart from that, you get a well written album by a necessarily routined band that should appeal to all fans of bombastic festive metal music, even if the undisputed kings of Italian power metal will still be Rhapsody.

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