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Fear of Domination - Metanoia

Fear of Domination
by Martin Knap at 20 May 2018, 12:19 PM

Finns do Metal their own way: be it extreme genres such as Black and Death Metal, not so extreme genres like Melodic Death Metal or mainstream Metal genres, Finnish bands have their particular sound and have influenced musicians around the globe. Some of the uniqueness of Finnish bands tip over into outright eccentricity like in the case of the metal/techno project TURMION KÄTILÖT or some ABBA-meets-Metal songs with which BEAST IN BLACK has graced us on their last album. I was hoping that, since they are marketed as an Industrial band, FEAR OF DOMINATION would be similar in spirit to the corny, degenerate fun of TURMION KÄTILÖT, but unfortunately this band doesn’t have many of its qualities – they definitely lack the oddball sense of humor.

FEAR OF DOMINATION’s sound could be described a mix of Metal Core, Power Metal, EDM and Pop. Sometimes their music is said to have Industrial elements, but I really don’t get too much of an NIN or MINISTRY vibe from this; the synth driven parts are more akin to pop EDM than to harsh Industrial sounds. The music has a kind of angsty Nu-Metal vibe, the verses are often heavy, punchy, but they serve mainly to build tension for a pop chorus. Some of it feels a bit like parts of SLIPKNOT and EVANESCENCE thrown together. There are two singers in this band - a male “Metal Core guy” and the female singer Sara Strömmer who does both harsh vocals and clear vocals; both play more or less an equal role on the record. Strömmer’s vocals are a standout element on this record, she does a really good job both at screaming and singing the pop choruses. (Her singing sounds really professional, that’s all I want to say…)

The first two songs “Dance With The Devil” and “Obsession” are very energetic, loud, even abrasive, with choruses that don’t sound too overblown, but already on the third song “Face of Pain” the record goes full out AMARANTHE. The lyrics were not available to me at the time of writing, but from what I could catch they are pretty cringeworthy, unless you are an angsty teen - for example in one part of "Dance With The Devil” the singer screams “this is the real love” over and over. I looked up some lyrics from older songs and yeah - they are really embarrassing. Some of the songs have a pronounced EDM felling to them: catchy, radio friendly choruses, driving melodic synth riffs, even electronica elements in the rhythm section, as well as “robotic” or pitch-shifted ad-libs. The song “Mindshifter” even ends like a record on a turntable being stopped, reinforcing the feeling that the songs are like club hits that people rock out to until the DJ decides to switch to another tune.

To me, FEAR OF DOMINATION are an edgier version of AMARANTHE, they make plastic, packaged, fine-tuned pop-rock hits that are a tad formulaic and soulless. I won’t deny that can dig catchy hits like “Sick And Beautiful” or “Obsession” but I feel that vibing with such music is like drinking cheap fruit liqueurs - they can get you wasted, but the hangover is oh so bad. Everything on this record is big, loud and dense, the quality of the singing, instrumental performances and arrangements are great, but the music lacks soul. I can appreciate lighthearted, entertaining music (that’s why I mentioned TURMION KÄTILÖT), but this record with all its teenage angst and cheesiness rubs me the wrong way. These guys are going to be success with a certain kind of (especially teenage) audience, but it’s certainly not my kind of thing and I think many metal listeners will feel the same way.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Dance With The Devil
2. Obsession
3. Face Of Pain
4. Sick And Beautiful
5. Shame
6. Lie
7. We Dominate
8. The Last Call
9. Mindshifter
10. Ruin
Saku Solin - Vocals
Lauri Ojanen - Bass
Jan-Erik Kari - Guitars
Johannes Niemi - Lead Guitars
Vesa Ahlroth - Drums
Lasse Raelahti - Keyboards
Sara Strömmer - Vocals
Miikki Kunttu - Percussion, Stage Monkey
Record Label: Ranka Kustannus


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Edited 04 February 2023

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