DOM DRACUL
Cold Grave (2016) By xDemoNx

Dom Dracul is an underground one man band which exists since 1998 and it comes from Sweden. Until I received their last two full length albums by Sun & Moon I didn't know anything about them or their music. After searching for information about the band, i found out that those albums are not new. Cold Grave, with which I will analyze in this review chronologically is the first album of the band as it was recorded in 2002, while the second one, Devil Dedication, was recorded in 2005. However both albums managed to be released in the 30th of November 2016. So, Cold Grave contains seven compositions, one atmospheric introduction and six Black Metal tracks, of overall duration of twenty seven minutes. Really, after listening to this album, someone will be wondering why it took fourteen years in order to be released. The listener will come across old school, orthodox, traditional, Norwegian sound, as if it was created during the first days of the Norwegian school.

The band presents beautiful, very dark riffs which put out that harsh, frozen and raw atmosphere that characterizes the album in an overall aspect. In various parts you will notice a special, dark, epic character which fit to the atmosphere perfectly but also to the dark, Satanic themes of the lyrics. The riffs are other times harsh, raw, old school and other times more melodic, epic and full of feelings and they let the listener understand their influences from bands like Hellhammer, Celtic Frost but also from bands of the classic Heavy Metal sound. In general, their style will remind you of Darkthrone and a lot of Mayhem in De Mysteriies..., especially in the last track that both the vocals reminds a lot the performance of Attila. The tracks last as long as they need in order to present completely the dark stories that the lyrics narrate. Moreover, the band has worked a lot for the structure of the tracks, which maintains that straightforward character of the music, but without becoming tedious for the listener.

The instruments have a very good performance and the very good job that has been done concerning the production and the mixture highlights that performance and helps it to become noticed. The guitars with their very good performance, create an awesome atmosphere, loyal to darkness and to the aesthetics of the old school of the Norwegian sound, while they transmit the feelings to the listeners in a very direct way. The bass has beautiful lines which support the guitars, it is heavy, dark but not very dirty and it fills the sound flawlessly. The drums perform well but their lines are not so interesting and sometimes they are repetitive. The vocals are Black Metal vocals of high quality. They are harsh, very violent, completely raw and they fit to the style of the compositions perfectly. The production is dark but quite clean. The mixture highlights the guitars and the vocals, leaving the bass and the drums lower but achieving the balance that the compositions need. Generally, the work that has been done concerning the sound is very good as the result is dark, raw, primitive, but at the same time clean so that it permits the listener to listen to every part of the album without losing that old school aesthetic. The lyrics are written in English, they are not contained in the cd and they deal with dark stories with Demons, while in other tracks they are antichristian and Satanic.

The truth is that Dom Dracul was a big surprise for me. They present a music style that nowadays you don't come across too often. And what adds value both to this album and the band is not only the fact that they play this kind of sound, but because they are doing it very well. Cold Grave is a very good release, especially for the fans of traditional, Norwegian Black Metal sound. Those of you who do not know the band it worth to give the attentions that it deserves. Those of you who already know and like them, buy it.

1. Intro - The Birth of Evil 02:21
2. Mighty Winter 05:14
3. Heil the Apocalypse 03:22
4. Sons of the North Unired 03:42
5. Unleashed from the Abyss 03:38
6. Blackened Sight 04:38
7. Cold Grave 04:09