'Dominion Reptilian'


MARK: 78/100


Fed up with stagnation? Then these ex members of Furbowl, Devourment(S) and Arch Enemy can give you a refreshing with their crazy and heavy songs, and what is good is that they don't sound as if they wanted to be original at any cost. Hearse's strength is in guitarist Mattias Ljung, who hadn't played metal licks and tricks for several years, which was a great advantage if compared to many who swamped in metal cliches these last years.

The opening is appointed to the title track, containing whispered voices and some classic metal riffs and then brutal vocals too. It'd be a great song if it didn't end in such a repetitive way, but let's not think about it too much and arrive at "Torch", taken from the 7", including an irresistible riff and coarse vocals; , not death and roll here, though brutal punk rock, the way we like it. A piano and a last Faith No More flavour open and close "Cosmic Daughter", stunningly supported by black vocals; here the riffs and licks are excellently chiselled before the guitar solo. Vicious effected vocals are instead in "Contemplation", some are death and there's a great fantasy once again when an unexpected riff is thrust in the middle of a hard rock riffing, a bit in the vein of Arche Enemy. Majestci and destructive are the moments in "Rapture in Twilight"; not many may have noticed some background uncasual noises in the guitar solo.
"Well of Youth": classic metal riffs on vulgar vocals again, followed by the heavy "Abandoned", featuring a few questionable weird inserts. This should make you realize how it's difficult to define a band like Hearse, even if the songs are not complicated; the innovation resides in a lot of cool ideas on a strong base, for example "End of Days", ending with a torrential g.solo. The only intermezzo is represented by the obscure "So Vague", actually an outro, but we have 2 songs more, 2 bonuses which also appear on the digipack and the Lp version: "The Unkwnown", which stands out thanks to an oriental melodic break and "Avalon", the other song of the single is my favourite: fast, dynamic, including some death vocals, some old school accelerations, power metal riffs and even a fragment of dark prog!

Needless to say this is a surprising debut where the guitar and ex-Arch Enemy's singer have the biggest parts; if they can become more solid and avoid a few mistakes, like some bad choices of inserts, experimentations and work on the details of their songs more, they can really achieve a big commercial and critics' success.